The Geoffrey Sawyer Scholarship Fund



1863 – A small committee appointed by Indiana Yearly Meeting   is sent to Helena, Arkansas, to care for black refugee children and women coming within Union lines for protection.  Thirty acres of land is purchased by the 56th regiment of the US colored Infantry and give to Indiana Yearly Meeting for a school.  For the next 52 years, Friends from Indiana Yearly Meeting go to Southland College (later Institute) to teach the children.

1881 – George Sturge, an English Friend, leaves a bequest of $25,000 designated to be used to prepare “freedmen and their descendants as teachers to return to work and teach preferably in black schools in the south.”

1919 – Subsequent bequests by various donors raise the endowment funds to over $41,000.

1925 – Southland is closed. Money in the Southland endowment continues to be available for African American students.

1981 – The fund is renamed after Geoffrey, the deceased son of George and Jackie Sawyer. George was an African American lawyer (an Earlham graduate and professor from Richmond, Indiana) who died in 2002. He was an active member of Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends.

1985 – Funds come  under the care of a committee of six appointed by Indiana Yearly Meeting.

2013 – With the realignment of Indiana Yearly Meeting the Geoffrey Sawyer Scholarship Trust was transferred to the care of the New Association of Friends.

Today – You can take part in this historic mission of the New Association of Friends by:                                                                     1. Encouraging African-American students to apply for the scholarships.                      2.  Making a gift to this endowment fund (now at about $200,000)                          Gifts are tax-deductible and always welcome.




Only African-Americans may apply for the scholarships

Recipients are chosen and awards are made on a yearly basis. Amounts average between $200 -$3,000.  The amount of the award is based on the funds available, number of applicants and determined financial need. Students may apply for additional scholarship aid in subsequent years.  Requests for applications may be made to clerk of the Geoffrey Sawyer Fund in care of New Association of Friends.

Applications and other pertinent materials should be postmarked no later than May 1. The Scholarship Committee will meet and awards will be announced by June 1. Award will be made directly to the designated college or university. 



Download an application here or send a request for an application to:

Geoffrey Sawyer Scholarship Committee

C/O Linda Brock

204 Red River Road

New Castle, IN 47362



What previous scholarship recipients have said:

Throughout my college years the Geoffrey Sawyer scholarship has been wonderful in assisting in my financial needs … I am ever so grateful. (Spanish Major)

With the scholarship I will be able to do the finishing work of my dissertation. Your kindness played a large part in helping me earn my Ph.D. (special Education major)

My earthly goal is to live a life as Christ lived his life, going about the land helping God’s people…(Psychology major)

I thank the individuals who made my trip abroad possible! (Spanish and Latin American studies major)

Geoffrey Sawyer Scholarship Committee New Association of Friends (Quakers) Revised 2014