The first fund established outside of the Community Fund, was the Chaney-Ensign Bursary Fund in 1976.
Genevieve Chaney and Cordelia Ensign were twin sisters, both teachers, and their intent was to help Hamilton young people who were in serious financial need to access higher learning.
The impact of this fund is hard to overestimate: close to 700 local students have received support over the years, without which they might never have progressed to post-secondary education. They include scientists, lawyers, teachers, business leaders, and countless others who continue to have an influence in Hamilton today.
Hamilton lawyer Sandra Stephenson and her three sisters all received Chaney-Ensign bursaries after their father suffered a stroke and the family’s sole source of income fell dramatically. Sandra, a past-HCF chair, was recently awarded the prestigious Law Society Medal recognizing those who have “advanced the core principles of access to justice and equality through their unique contributions to their communities.”
Almost 40 years since its creation, the Chaney-Ensign Bursary Fund continues to support the educational aspirations of young Hamiltonians – an outstanding example of the power of the community foundation model.