Shady Side Academy alumnus Philip Rouse '64 will donate a total of $1 million to Shady Side Academy over the next five years to endow two scholarship funds in memory of his parents. Rouse's gift will establish the Edgar H. Rouse Scholarship Fund for one male Senior School student in the amount of $500,000 and the Margaret W. Rouse Scholarship Fund for one female Senior School student in the amount of $500,000.
"Attending Shady Side Academy opened doors for me that otherwise would have remained closed," said Rouse. "I want to help other students whose families have limited financial means get access to the educational benefits of Shady Side."
Rouse attended the Senior School for four years (grades 9-12) as a boarding student. He received a partial scholarship, but his parents had to sacrifice to fund the balance of his SSA education. His gift honors the sacrifice of his late parents. "My parents were great believers in education," said Rouse. "They were grateful for the assistance Shady Side provided and encouraged me to 'pay it back' whenever I was able."
After graduating in 1964, Rouse earned a B.A. from Antioch College and an M.B.A. from George Mason University, and became a certified public accountant. He worked for 32 years at ViON Corporation, an information technology company that designs and maintains storage and server solutions for the government, public and commercial sectors. Rouse served as ViON's chief financial officer and vice president of finance and administration before retiring in 2011. He and his wife, Fran, currently reside in Virginia.
Rouse credits much of his success in college, career and life to the intense preparation he received at Shady Side, and to the mentorship of SSA's dedicated faculty. "Shady Side provided the discipline and opportunity to discover how to buckle down, take responsibility and get the job done," he said. "Perhaps Shady Side's instructors should not be called teachers but rather life mentors. What they provide goes beyond teaching and beyond graduation. I imagine there is very little they would not do to help a student to succeed."
"We are extremely grateful to Phil Rouse for his very generous gift to Shady Side Academy," said Academy President Tom Cangiano. "His gift will have a life-changing impact on future recipients of the Rouse Scholarships by giving them access to educational opportunities they could not otherwise afford. It is our hope that his generosity and leadership will inspire others to support our financial aid endowment."
Growing the financial aid endowment is a major goal of Shady Side Academy's Strategic Vision. The Academy currently grants $3 million a year in financial aid to 18 percent of its PK-12 student body, but each year many qualified applicants are left in the financial aid wait pool due to lack of sufficient funds. "It is our goal to ensure that a Shady Side education is accessible to all qualified students, no matter their socioeconomic background," said Cangiano.
Shady Side expects to award the first Edgar H. Rouse and Margaret W. Rouse Scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year. The four-year scholarships will be awarded to incoming freshmen and continue to support the recipients through their senior year.