Dearborn Scholarship

WPI students with high aptitude for inventing, researching, and experimenting may apply for a Dearborn Foundation Scholarship through sponsorship of one or two WPI faculty members. The applicants for the scholarships will be highly screened. The applications process will include not only the typical application forms but also a questionnaire determining interests and aptitudes, a mechanical aptitude test, and a personal interview. The questionnaire is a career assessment survey, which will help to determine not only the applicant's abilities, but more importantly, his/her interests. As an engineer and inventor who has employed and trained many people throughout the years, Mr. Dearborn has found that interest is more important than any other ability. Aptitude alone without interest is not enough to ensure success and personal fulfillment.

Requirements also include letters of recommendation.

Application packages may be picked up in the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship & Innovation office in 216A of the Washburn Shops Building or they may be downloaded from the Dearborn Foundation web site. The application process is not performed on the Internet out of respect for Mr. Dearborn's preferences.

Scholarship Philosophy

The Dearborn Foundation is a non-profit organization created and developed in March 1993 by Mr. Dearborn, a successful businessman who has donated over $1.5 million so far and has arranged for the foundation to continue for many years to come. As an entrepreneur and inventor all of his life, Mr. Dearborn realizes that for the United States to maintain a leading role in the world, we desperately need more inventors to lead the engineers and entrepreneurs of the future. The Foundation would like to find and help promote the future Edisons, Wright Brothers, Sikorskis, Goddards, Franklins, Bells, Fords, and many more, therefore has scholarships available to qualifying persons for education, research, or experimentation.

Mr. Dearborn would like to help people with high IQs who have an analytical mind capable of logical reasoning and a thorough understanding of the basic natural sciences, especially physics. The type of person he would like to help is a person who can think beyond the standard and accepted ways of doing things. He or she would be capable of independent thinking, who would like to venture further than what they normally teach in engineering classes, but must understand the basic rules of science. The applicant for the scholarship must be the type who could be an innovator, inventor, or designer.

About Mr. Dearborn

Born on May 11, 1918 near Cleveland Ohio, Howard Dearborn attended high school and one year at Case School of Applied Science (currently Case Western). After being fired several times from his father's machine shop, Howard borrowed $400 on his car and $1000 from his uncle and started his own machining business in an old warehouse next to a railroad track amongst three coal yards. He hired a high school friend and designed and built two special machines. This was the start of Howard Manufacturing Company in Berea Ohio. Most of the products made were for wartime equipment. Howard and his family moved to Maine in the early 1960's and built a second manufacturing plant called Dearborn Precision Tubular Products, now with over 150 employees.

During the many years in business, Howard's two companies produced components for tanks, airplanes, nuclear submarines, nuclear reactors, space vehicles, medical equipment and deep water drilling equipment. These two plants with highly specialized machines, designed and built by Howard Dearborn, have been successful for over 50 years and have provided Howard with the financing to set up the Dearborn Foundation. Howard has also developed many inventions, some of which hold patents. (Information from the Dearborn Foundation brochure)

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Fall semester deadline:
April 15th
Spring semester deadline:
November 1st
Applications must be handwritten!

Past Winners