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Providing access to a high-quality independent school experience can be life changing for students. Supporting middle- and low-income families is a challenge for almost any independent school, where resources are often less abundant than need. The Bill & Kathryn Matthews Memorial Fund was established to help meet that need.
Since 2016, Berwick Academy’s partnership with Whittier Falls (a division of the Dover New Hampshire Housing Authority), has been instrumental in helping to achieve the goal of increasing student diversity on campus while providing a life altering educational experience for local students. Known as The Matthews Scholars, the program’s students have been thriving at Berwick. Each year the students progress exponentially in the academic and social setting at Berwick with the support and encouragement of the School’s dedicated faculty.

The Scholars - Success Stories

List of 5 items.

  • Grade 9

    Our Grade 9 Scholar was inducted into the International Thespian Society following their breakout role in the fall play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. They also excelled in Algebra I, Intermediate Mandarin, and Sculpture in Clay, all while honing leadership and time management skills.
  • Grade 8

    Our eighth-grade curriculum requires increased independence and self-advocacy and begins students’ transition to the Upper School. Our Grade 8 Scholar engaged in a variety of projects and activities including: conducting research on landmark Supreme Court cases, engaging in Socratic seminars, and working through drafts of memoir writing. They forged strong relationships with several classmates and earned the respect of their teachers and peers.
  • Grade 7

    Our Grade 7 Scholar excelled in English, Art, and Theater this past year. In Global Ex, a year-long immersive, interdisciplinary, student-driven exploration that combines science and social studies, they studied the country of Iraq and learned about its geography, economy, environmental concerns, and social issues.
  • Grade 6

    Our Grade 6 Scholar made substantial improvements in their math skills and confidence. They embraced new opportunities to learn, accepted challenges, and worked hard to find solutions. A wonderful classmate and friend, they added an excellent perspective to class discussions.
  • Grade 4

    Our Grade 4 Scholar is described as a kind, responsible, and hard-working student who has improved in their confidence and class participation. The Scholar’s teachers enjoy their enthusiasm for learning, sense of humor, and ability to think creatively.

Dick Shafner ‘65 & Janet Eustis

Through The Bill & Kathryn Matthews Memorial Fund, and the support of our generous donors, Berwick’s need-based financial aid program covers the full tuition for each Matthews Scholar. The financial aid awards will follow our Matthews Scholars through graduation.
Over the last several years, alumnus, Dick Shafner ‘65, and his wife, Janet Eustis, have made gifts to support the full tuition of one Matthews Scholar each academic year. Long-term financial sustainability of this program is not only a priority for Dick and Jan, but also a priority for Berwick Academy.
Beginning in December 2022, Dick and Jan have pledged a match of $250,000 over the next five years towards The Bill & Kathryn Matthews Memorial Fund. With the support of Dick and Jan and generous donors, this fund will grow to over $500,000 providing substantial support to this important program.

-Dick Shafner '65 

The Matthews Fund provides a life-changing experience for these students.
Bill Matthews began his career at Berwick Academy in 1963 serving the school in a variety of roles until his retirement in June of 1979. Bill was remembered fondly by many alumni during the boarding school years (1960-1973). This fund was established to honor Bill’s legacy at Berwick and he and his wife, Kathryn’s, steadfast commitment to education.
For more information on The Bill & Kathryn Matthews Memorial Fund please contact Stephanie Caswell, Director of Leadership Giving and Philanthropy (scaswell@berwickacademy.org or 207.384.6396).​

Berwick Academy

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 550 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post-Graduates. Berwick students are from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several countries. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.