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Scholarships for BRS Members and Family

A Helping Hand —
The Thomson Foundation

Financial Assistance for Daughters of Deceased Railroad Employees

John Edgar Thomson was the third president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and led the company from 1852 to 1874. Although John Thomson never had children of his own, he often pondered on the difficulties of orphaned girls. In that era, a fatherless boy could usually get a trade school education or find employment; a girl had little opportunity for either.

In his will, Mr. Thomson dedicated a portion of his estate in the form of a trust fund for the education and maintenance of female orphans of railway employees whose fathers may have died while in the discharge of their duties. After his death in 1874, the trust fund was established for the daughters of men killed in railroad service. Subsequently, The John Edgar Thomson Foundation was founded when Mrs. Thomson opened a girl’s boarding school in Philadelphia, in December of 1882.

Today, the Foundation continues its objective by providing aid to a substantial number of girls throughout the United States in the form of financial assistance and healthcare benefits. To be eligible, the employee must have been actively employed by any United States railroad at the time of his or her death; the cause does not need to be work related. Eligibility is also dependent on the daughter and the surviving parent remaining unmarried. Family income and expenses are also considered when determining eligibility.

The monthly allowance made under the grant may cover the period from infancy to high school graduation, and in some circumstances to age 24, to assist the grantees that are pursuing a higher education. The Foundation also offers special healthcare benefits.

Funding for the work of the Foundation is completely independent of any railroad. It neither solicits nor receives funds from the public.

Further information and applications may be obtained by going to their website.

The John Edgar Thomson Foundation

The John J. Sweeney Scholarship at Ulster University’s International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) is now open for applications. This scholarship is supported by the AFL-CIO. Visit Ulster University for more information and how to apply. 

A scholarship for union families

Union Plus Scholarships help union families with the cost of college.

Visit Union Plus for more information. 

Page Last Updated: Aug 08, 2023 (09:00:16)
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
917 Shenandoah Shores Road
Front Royal, VA 22630
  (540) 622-6522

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