Simeon Benjamin Award

Simeon Benjamin

Simeon Benjamin founded Elmira College in 1855 as the first college to offer a degree to women that was equal in rigor to the best men’s colleges of that time. Now, more than 160 years later, we continue those founding ideals of equal access with the new, Simeon Benjamin Award.

Beginning Fall 2018, all first-time, first-year incoming students will receive this Award of $2,500 per year, totaling $10,000 over a four-year period.

We believe all students should have the opportunity to attend Elmira College, a top-ranked, national liberal arts college. This scholarship, unlike others, is not tied to residency requirements - before, during or after college - or credit hours or even your GPA. If you attend Elmira College, you will receive this scholarship each of the four years you are here - period.

Who was Simeon Benjamin?

Simeon Benjamin was born on Long Island, New York in 1792. In 1835, Simeon and his family moved to Elmira, New York after 20 years as a successful merchant in New York City.

Within six months, Simeon began investing in the growing Elmira community. One major investment was Elmira College. Simeon leveraged his finances and business connections to establish the College and give women an equal chance at higher education.

Simeon himself donated nearly $80,000, which in today’s economy would be more than two million dollars.

Though Simeon Benjamin passed away on September 1, 1868, his legacy lives on through campus traditions and now this scholarship.