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U-M Club of Seattle: About Roby M. Burley Scholarship

Roby M. Burley Scholarship

Since 1930, The University of Michigan Alumni Club of Seattle has awarded scholarships to highly talented students from the state of Washington who are enrolled at the University of Michigan. Income from the scholarship’s endowment currently generates approximately $25,000 annually, which we typically divide between three to five recipients. The Club has established specific criteria for recipients, which can be found on our website. Beginning in 2016, one scholarship is now available for an incoming freshman with significant financial need. The remaining scholarships are awarded, one year at a time, based on academic achievement, financial need, diversity of student experience, community service, and demonstration of leadership.

History

The Roby M. Burley Scholarship Fund was established in the late 1930’s and was originally called the Seattle Club Scholarship Fund. In 1946, the fund totaled $10,000, with the first major contribution to the Fund by the Club being the $600 profit from the 1958 Glee Club Concert.

Several years ago, we decided to honor Roby Burley during his lifetime for his outstanding contributions to our Club and the Alumni Association.

Roby McKinley Burley graduated from Michigan with a degree in Literature in 1920 and, while there, wrote the history of the World War I experiences of the 170-member Michigan Naval Militia. He moved to Seattle in 1928 and joined our Club. For many years, Roby was the club historian. Using past minutes, he wrote a history of the Club, and maintained it until his death in 1996.

Roby was a wealth of information and the force that kept the Club going during the good years and the lean. An avid football and basketball fan, he never missed an event held in the area even when he was well into his nineties. Roby was the Club president in 1935 and 36, served as the Eighth District Director, and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Service Medal by the University in 1955, a rare distinction. His knowledge, wisdom, and guidance over the years were invaluable to all associated with our club.

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