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The History of the Wolcott Foundation Fellowship

In the beginning ...
High Twelve International had its beginning in Sioux City, Iowa in 1920. Its founder, Edgar C. Wolcott was, at the time, General Secretary of the Y.M.C.A. in Sioux City. He felt very strongly that members of the Masonic fraternity were in need of additional fellowship not gained in the Lodge room.

As High Twelve expanded beyond the confines of Sioux City to Oakland, California and the Midwest, the “passing of the cup of fraternal assistance” became a feature of club meetings, accompanied with good natured fining. The earliest reference to High Twelve considering a scholarship program centered on discussions of a “Penny Fund” at the St. Louis meeting of the Club representatives in June 1946. This followed the presentation of a purse to Brother Wolcott and his wife as an anniversary gift. The Wolcotts, in turn, contributed to the purse a sum of $400.00 toward the “Penny Fund” which, at some point in time, had a name change to the “Founders Fund.”

In 1950, Dr. J. Wallace Forbes, a professor of Dentistry at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, submitted a resolution changing the “Founders Fund” to the “Wolcott Founders Fund” in honor of the founder of High Twelve International. At the Chicago Convention in 1951, Dr. Forbes pushed for the use of funds from the Founders Fund to be used in promulgating more Masonic ideals into our Government. To that end, he suggested “establishment of an annual scholarship in diplomacy and statesmanship in one of the colleges or universities that offer such subjects.”

George Washington University Enters the Picture
In mid-1951, the work being carried out at George Washington University in Government and Foreign Affairs was discussed by Dr. Forbes and his associates and the sum of $1,800.00 for tuition for a student at the University was appropriated. Dr. Forbes and his associates, who have been referred to as the first Trustees, all had strong ties or
connections with Temple University. They were Dr. J. Wallace Forbes, Professor of Dental Science at Temple University, Dr. Millard Gladfelter, President of Temple University, John Harper, Esq., Counsel for Temple University and Fred Kissler, a Masonic leader of Louisville, Kentucky. These gentlemen were appointed interim Trustees to work up necessary arrangements to implement the resolution adopted by the 1951 convention.

At the Tulsa Convention of 1953, Chairman Forbes announced the formation of a Graduate Fellowship in international Affairs - a full tuition scholarship at the George Washington University - one year of graduate studies for qualified students. The first student selected was Robert Irvine Warriner of Kirkwood, Missouri.

The success of the Founders Fund and its successor Foundations can be attributed to the efforts of a group of dedicated Master Masons who have, during the intervening fifty years, served as Trustees. In addition, they have been aided by very wise counsel from University Faculty and officials starting with Dr. Cloyd Heck Marvin, President of the University in 1953, Dr. Lloyd Hartman Elliott, President after Dr. Marvin, Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus, and Dr. Steven Knapp. These Illustrious gentlemen and the intervening Presidents have personally, and through their representatives, given strong support to the Trustees and the Foundation.

To date, about 500 students have been supported, in full or part, for their graduate degrees at George Washington University by Wolcott Foundation grants.


George Washington
George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA


Wolcott Foundation Fellowships are awarded to U.S. citizens who are attending or applying to
the George Washington University School of Business, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.
These awards are designed to encourage young scholars with outstanding academic, civic, and social credentials to pursue public service careers.
High Twelve International is an association of Master Masons.