Foundation scholarships total nearly $1 million

Every year, the amount of scholarship money handed out to area students through the Saccomanno Higher Education Foundation seems to grow and grow.

This scholarship cycle is no different, with nearly $1 million granted to college-bound students in both Mesa County and Carbon County, Utah.

The 332 scholarships totaling more than $970,000, awarded for the 2013-2014 academic year, exceeded a record amount handed out last year. Since 1992, almost $10 million has been awarded to students through the foundation.

The scholarship program is part of the legacy of Gene and Virginia Saccomanno. The foundation offers aid to students in need, to use at universities or vocational schools of their choosing.

Foundation president Carol Murphy, who is the eldest daughter of Gene and Virginia Saccomanno, said the aim is to provide money to students in need whose families also can contribute some to the effort.

“My mother and father asked that everybody just give something. The parents have to give just a little bit. And the kids, if they are able to work, they give a little bit, too,” Murphy said, adding about her parents, “Neither one of them had any help when they needed it.”

Colorado Mesa University looks to be the biggest institutional recipient this year, with 101 of the Saccomanno scholarship students staying local. The amount of scholarship money that will be directed to CMU this year by the foundation is more than $310,000.

The College of Eastern Utah is also set to receive a large portion of this year’s scholarship funds, Murphy said.

“Anywhere you want to go, anything you want to do — we are able to help you,” she said.

Students apply for Saccomanno scholarships for every year that they plan to attend college, and needs are assessed for each student every year.

Applications are available at local high schools and colleges, and at


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