Meet the Benefactor

The following is written by Halcyon Mancuso on why she created The Mancuso Scholarships...

The Massachusetts Council on the Humanities includes a definition that I really like: The Council:

define[s]  the humanities as a way of thinking about and responding to the world—as tools we use to examine and make sense of the human experience in general and our individual experiences in particular. The humanities enable us to reflect upon our lives and ask fundamental questions of value, purpose, and meaning in a rigorous and systematic way.

Universities typically arrange their academic departments into the English and humanities, and the natural (or “hard”) sciences. These are not arbitrary groupings since the “sciences” tend to use a more “scientific approach” in their inquiries and the” humanities”  tend to use a more analytical / critical approach, but even as I note this, I remain uncomfortable in trying to definitively explain the academic boundaries among these three areas; indeed, they are so inter-related and draw upon each other so often that the only case I can make for separating them as such is an administrative one.

By using the Massachusetts Council on the Humanities definition, above, we could - and should - consider virtually all academic areas of inquiry (humanities, English and humanities, natural sciences) as part of “the Humanities” since they all, at a very fundamental level, involve study and interpretation of what makes us human, how we apply such study to both our personal and public lives, and what we create through such study.

We, then, are the humanities - humans attempting to record our human experiences through exploration, interpretation, and assessment and then struggling, often mightily, to understand those experiences and create new meaning. "

Halcyon Mancuso

Founder of The Mancuso Scholarships

So why, then, are not all majors included in these English and humanities scholarship opportunities? It is a fair question.  

In our increasingly technological- and money-driven world, I have chosen to preference those majors that seem less supported, less encouraged by the very businesses and governments that so desperately need employees who have studied the humanities, for such students are prepared to imaginatively confront the challenges of our diverse world through reasoned and open-minded discussion about values and through appreciating the experiences and cultures of others who inhabit this planet with us. 

Employers tell us that these are the very students who tend to thrive in their companies and organizations.

And because these scholarships are not simply about funding four years of college but are really about an academic and career preparation program, I hope to demonstrate that with rigorous preparation, these students will be well positioned to enter the 21st century workforce.