Scholarships Offered by the Gold Rush Chapter
The Gold Rush Chapter’s Scholarship Program honors three individuals who have played significant roles
in the success of the Chapter. These individuals are Charles Benson, Duffy Thompson, and William
The Charles Benson Scholarship
The late Charles Benson was the long-time chairman of the Monterey Regional Waste Management
District, who was a strong supporter of SWANA. Charlie routinely attended SWANA regional and
national events to expand his understanding and knowledge of solid waste management. His leadership
on the District Board of Directors was key to the District’s overall growth and becoming the first
recipient of the SWANA award for Best Solid Waste Management System in North America.
The William Merry Scholarship
William Merry worked for the Monterey Regional Waste Management District for many years and
served as the District’s third General Manager. William continued the leadership of the District in solid
waste management and was recognized for his dedication to the solid waste industry. He served on
several national committees, including the SWANA Hazardous Waste Committee, was the SWANA
Technical Division Director, and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of MSW Management Magazine.
Upon his retirement from the District, the District honored William by contributing to the Chapter
scholarship program in William’s name.
The Arnold "Duffy" Thompson Scholarship
The late Arnold "Duffy" Thompson worked for Stanislaus County and was a leader who promoted the
concept of sanitary landfill. But it was after his retirement from Stanislaus County that Duffy’s
dedication to the Gold Rush Chapter became clearly evident. Duffy dedicated countless hours to
supporting the Gold Rush Chapter at numerous regional and national SWANA events. He organized and
help run the Chapter Road-E-O, a competition for drivers and mechanics that was truly a family event.
Eligibility and Application Information
Please note the Gold Rush Chapter Board of Directors recently approved revisions to the Chapter Scholarship Program. Please read the following information carefully.
The Gold Rush Chapter Scholarship Program is open to Chapter Members, Student Members, and the children and grandchildren (including adopted children and stepchildren) of a Member (sponsor) in good standing of the Gold Rush Chapter.
Additionally, candidates must meet one of the following requirements:
- Graduating high school senior or graduate equivalent certified applicant who has been accepted for enrollment in an accredited junior college, or an accredited four-year college or university
- Current student enrolled in an accredited college or university.
- College or university graduate entering or in an accredited graduate school.
- At the discretion of the Scholarship Committee, an applicant may be interviewed by the Scholarship Committee to obtain additional information or confirm information.
In addition to a completed application form, applicants are to provide the following with their application:
- Letter of acceptance if a graduating high school senior or junior college student, or entering graduate school
- Short statement of estimated tuition and fees, including any other scholarships or educational funding awarded to date for the coming year
- One page discussion of the applicant’s views on solid waste management
- Description of the applicant’s future goals
There is no major requirement. Experience has shown that passionate solid waste professionals can come from a wide range of educational backgrounds.
The maximum award will be based on either 50% of tuition and fees or $1,500. Award amounts will be dependent on the number of qualified applicants and available budget.
The award to part-time and junior college student will be less than for a full-time or 4-year college or university student.
An applicant may receive a maximum of two scholarship awards during different years. However, preference will be given to first-time applicants.
Applicants selected by the SWANA International Scholarship Committee for the Grant H. Flint Scholarship Awards Program will not be eligible for the Gold Rush Chapter Scholarship Program. However, applicants interested in the Grant H. Flint Scholarship Awards Program are also encouraged to submit an application for the Gold Rush Chapter Scholarship Program in case they are not selected.
Scholarship awards will be announced by July 1 each year.
Scholarships Offered by SWANA International
Grant H. Flint International Scholarship Awards
The Grant H. Flint International Scholarship Awards Program is administered by SWANA International and is named for the individual in southern California who was one of the driving forces in the formation of SWANA.
The Scholarship Awards Program is open to sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters of a Member (Sponsor) in good standing as of May 1st each year.
There are three award categories:
Graduating high school seniors or graduate equivalent certified candidates who have been accepted for enrollment in a junior college, a four-year college, or a university program.
Currently enrolled full-time college or university students who are entering their junior or senior undergraduate year and pursuing a degree in environmental science, engineering, or other suitable major related to the field of solid waste management.
The Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Award
Full-time students who are entering or are in graduate school pursuing a degree in environmental science, engineering, or other suitable major related to the field of solid waste management.
A total of $20,000 will be awarded in 2013 in Categories I and II; number and amounts of each award to be determined by the Scholarship Committee.
One award in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded in The Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Award category.