A scholarship fund of $1 million was established by the late Adele DeLeeuw to assist needy students in the Plainfield Area for their pursuit of post-secondary education. The fund is managed by PNC Advisors (PNC), and is administered by the Plainfield Foundation through the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield.
Adele DeLeeuw was a well-known author of books for children of all ages, a prominent Plainfield resident for almost her entire life. She was a patron of the arts and literature, and took a special interest in young people.
Adele lived in Plainfield with her parents and her sister, Cateau, who was an artist. Her father was a consulting engineer with an office in New York City.
After their father and then their mother passed away, Adele and Cateau continued to reside in Plainfield. They were members and proud supporters of many literary and arts organizations in the area.
Adele was also a champion for her City of Plainfield. An article in the Courier News from 1979 said that Adele "relishes giving the Queen City, her home since 1914, an oral or written boost."
She had the opportunity to give that support in her freelance writings for the Courier News over an eight year period. Her opinion pieces were well-received, and were eagerly anticipated by many readers.
Adele died on June 13, 1988. She was pre-deceased by her sister, Cateau. With no immediate survivors, Adele set aside a portion of her estate for a scholarship program to be administered by the Plainfield Foundation.
Reflecting her own and her family's interests, Adele stipulated in her will that the annual earnings from her scholarship endowment would be awarded to graduating seniors from high schools in Plainfield, North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Edison, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Watchung, and Warren. She further stipulated that eligible seniors must pursue a course of study in art, poetry, writing, journalism, or engineering - courses of study that reflected her own family's careers and interests.
Eligible students who receive first-year scholarships are encouraged to submit applications for subsequent years and receive additional awards.
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Eligible students can download the application form here.