Caesar Rodney High School graduates and friends Rocky Li and Evan McCleary both received a $20,000 John A. & Marion B. Smitheman Scholarship from the Delaware Community Foundation.

The graduates are now roommates and mechanical engineering students at the University of Delaware.

The DCF scholarship is helping Li and McCleary pursue education in engineering with less debt.

The Smitheman Scholarship was established by Ned Smitheman, whose legacy benefits Delaware students today, 18 years after his passing.

In 1993, Smitheman found two rare wooden duck decoys in his parents’ attic, and sold them for $90,750. As a graduate of UD with a degree in engineering, Smitheman used the money from the sale of the decoys to open an endowed scholarship fund in his parents’ names at the DCF.

The Smitheman Fund has awarded over $130,000 to students since 1994. The scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior of a Kent County high school pursuing an engineering degree at any Delaware institution. Each $20,000 scholarship is given in $5,000 increments over the span of four years.

“Scholarships create meaningful opportunities for students to succeed in higher education,” said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. “We are proud to be home to the Smitheman Endowment Fund, which serves as an example of generous people supporting students for generations to come.

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