by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77 and her husband, George, have long supported programs and initiatives that strengthen Dickinson’s mission. Now, as Dickinson undertakes the most ambitious scholarship campaign in its history, they’ve launched an intensive and personally meaningful scholarship program—one that further distinguishes the college among other top-tier liberal-arts institutions, while also helping exceptional students from the couple’s home state realize their dreams.
The Reynolds Leadership Scholar Program provides $40,000 per year toward tuition, including off-campus study in Dickinson or partner programs, to high-achieving student-leaders who live and/or study in Maryland and wish to take advantage of a Dickinson liberal-arts education. It includes access to exclusive leadership training with successful Old Line State professionals across a wide spectrum of fields. A separate application is required to be considered for the program, including a 300-word personal reflection on leadership.
Because the scholarship is offered to several students each year, Reynolds Scholars attend Dickinson together as a cohort. Their network will grow as they take part in leadership training with Reynolds and attend annual dinners, hosted by the couple, with college leaders and Maryland-based alumni.
“It’s about paying it forward, because I know that the actual cost of delivering Dickinson’s world-class education is more than the sticker price—and that I was only able to attend Dickinson because of people who came before me. We also hope it inspires more families to consider Dickinson, because we feel students who are a good fit should have an opportunity to take advantage of Dickinson’s world-class education, regardless of their families’ financial situation.”
—Jennifer Ward Reynolds ’77
The cohort-based scholarship is informed by Reynolds' formative experiences as a Dickinsonian and community leader.
She was an English major and student-athlete at Dickinson. While rigorous coursework sharpened her communication skills and studying abroad broadened her world, she learned to be a leader through a student-galvanized tutoring program, through which she taught English to French-speaking Vietnamese refugees. As a young grad, she built on those skills through a community-leadership program that connected her with Baltimore-area movers and shakers from a variety of fields, and from all walks of life.
“That experience taught me the value of understanding how people from different walks of life approach community problems,” says Reynolds. “And that lesson, and the connections I made at Dickinson and through this program, were transformative.”
A chartered financial analyst, Reynolds went on to become vice chair and chief investment officer at Legg Mason Trust and now serves as partner and director of Ward Properties, a commercial real-estate firm. She’s twice been named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women (The Daily Record) and is a past recipient of the Girl Scouts of Greater Maryland’s Distinguished Women’s Award. Her husband, George, also a prominent Maryland professional, has practiced law for four decades, with a focus on tax law, estate planning and administration, trusts and elder care. He currently practices with the Miles & Stockbridge firm.
Giving Back, Giving Forward
Both give back to their community, serving on impactful boards in the Baltimore region. They also have made indelible marks at Dickinson. She served as chair of Dickinson’s Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2017, and the couple has hosted many alumni and prospective-student events at their home over the years to help bring generations of Maryland Dickinsonians together.
The Reynolds Leadership Scholar Program builds on these already well-established and strong ties in the Maryland-alumni community, to the benefit of student-leaders and alumni alike. And by bringing promising students to campus and setting them up for success, it helps give Dickinson an edge in recruiting the best and brightest.
“It’s about paying it forward, because I know that the actual cost of delivering Dickinson’s world-class education is more than the sticker price—and that I was only able to attend Dickinson because of people who came before me,” says Reynolds. “We also hope it inspires more families to consider Dickinson, because we feel students who are a good fit should have an opportunity to take advantage of Dickinson’s world-class education, regardless of their families’ financial situation.”
Learn more about the Reynolds Leadership Scholarship Program
Published January 6, 2022