May 07, 2008

Lucy-Desi Center Reestablishes Lucille Ball Scholarship

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York, has reestablished a scholarship at Jamestown Community College in the name of Jamestown native Lucille Ball.

The language establishing the new scholarship states:

In commemoration of Lucille Ball’s commitment to Jamestown Community College by initially establishing the Lucille Ball Scholarship in 1956, and

In recognition of the determination and hard work that – despite her being sent home from New York City’s John Murray Anderson-Robert Milton School of Drama with a message to her mother that she had no talent – led to her being accepted internationally as The Queen of Comedy, and

In acknowledgement of her business acumen as the first woman to head a major Hollywood studio, Desilu Productions – the largest production studio at the time – and personally championing the creation of Star Trek and Mission Impossible,

The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in her hometown, Jamestown, New York, establishes the Lucille Ball Scholarship Fund.


The scholarship is designated “to assist a Jamestown Community College student pursuing an Associates Degree in performing arts (theatre, music) or business with no less than a 2.0 G.P.A. Special consideration will be given to students who show exceptional drive and determination and/or who have overcome unusual challenges. Exceptional talent, alone, is not a determining qualification. Student must demonstrate financial need.”

Ten initial funders from across the country each provided $1,000 to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to launch the new endowment. They are Ford and Jane Blaney (IN), Chris and Tricia Olsen (CA), William Peck (in memory of Barbara “Bonnie” Johnson) (NJ), Melody Thomas Scott (CA), Todd and Alexis Singleton (NY), Ken Souza (CA), Wanda Clark Stamatovich (OK), William and Barbara Stubbs (in memory of Marion Strong Stubbs VanVlack) (VA), Darrell Vail (Washington, D.C.), and Lou Weiss (NY). William Peck made an additional contribution so that the first Lucille Ball scholarship could be awarded this spring.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz originally announced their creation of a scholarship at Jamestown Community College when they visited Jamestown in 1956 for the world premiere of their MGM film, Forever, Darling. Initial funder Chris Olsen’s mother, Janice, was their homecoming queen, and a picture of Desi crowning Janice graced the front page of the local newspapers. The scholarship continued until Lucy and Desi’s Hollywood production studio, Desilu Studios, was sold to Gulf & Western in 1967.

Randy Sweeney, Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, stated, “Lucille Ball made a longstanding mark on the business and entertainment world with her many accomplishments. The Community Foundation is excited to be able to administer this scholarship which may provide the necessary assistance to a person pursuing a similar career through Jamestown Community College.”

Additional individuals can be designated “inaugural contributors” by making a donation to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF) earmarked for the Lucille Ball Scholarship Fund by June 15, 2008. Online gifts to the fund can be made through CRCF’s website at www.crcfonline.org.

Scholarship application forms are available through the Jamestown Community College Financial Aid Office.

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