The Scandling Trust: Inspiring Others to Invest in HWS

Doubling the Impact

by Andrew Wickenden ’09

Judith Haslam Cross ’52, P’85, L.H.D.’00 recalls that when she graduated from high school in 1948, “we did not apply to multiple colleges. Our parents decided.”

When her mother suggested Wellesley, Cross’s great-aunt Helen Brent intervened. “Judith,” she said, “should go to William Smith.”

For her own part, Cross says, “I’ve been forever grateful.”

Cross’ family connection and commitment to HWS can be traced to Charles Henry Brent (Helen’s brother and Cross’s great-uncle) who at the time of William Smith College’s founding sat on the Board of Hobart as Bishop of Western New York. After Bishop Brent’s death in 1929, Helen came to William Smith where she taught religion and served as assistant dean to Mary McCormack Scott- Craig, the sixth dean of the College, taking a profound interest in the development of its students.

“Helen and her sisters were strong advocates for women in the mold of Jane Addams of Hull House,” says Cross, who herself has spent the past 50 years as an influential and dedicated advocate for Hobart and William Smith as a trustee, class agent and class correspondent.

In honor of her great-aunt’s exemplary strength and commitment, Cross is endowing a scholarship in Helen Brent’s name through the Scandling Trust, a 24-month initiative created in celebration of William F. Scandling ’49, LL.D.’67, his legacy of philanthropy and his belief in the transformative power of a Hobart and William Smith education.

“Bill Scandling was a commanding presence on the Board, and we all had great respect for what he had accomplished personally and for the Colleges,” says Cross, who served as trustee from 1984 to 1992, including a term as vice-chair. “I am especially grateful to him for making it possible to double the scope of my scholarship due to the matching gift.”

As Scandling himself once said: “There is no question in my mind today that an education is one of the greatest gifts that can be bestowed upon an individual. It enriches his or her quality of life. It deepens that person’s intellectual and spiritual awareness, and widens his or her sense of what life can hold. And today, more than ever, it improves a person’s chance of finding work that will be fulfilling and that will enable him or her to be economically independent and support a family.”

“When I was at William Smith I roomed with another student who was on a Trustee Scholarship,” Cross recalls. “From her I learned the importance of scholarship aid. This student went on to have a successful career in academia and published several books. I hope the scholarship I establish will benefit others like her at Hobart and William Smith far into the future.”


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.