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Scott Willison Memorial Scholarship

Raised toward our $6,500 Goal
81 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on September 16, at 04:48 PM MDT
Project Owners

Scott Willison Memorial Scholarship

The Scott Willison Memorial PonyUp campaign has closed, but you can still make a gift!

Just visit and use ES114 in the Fund ID space.


We have reached $37,500 - unlocking another $12,500 match and bringing our total to over $50,000! Thank you for continuing Scott's legacy!


In his 20 years at Boise State University, Dr. Scott Willison left an incredible legacy for underserved students in the Treasure Valley and at Boise State. He was an inspiring mentor to students, an innovative colleague, and a dedicated, caring father. During his tenure, he helped bring in over 40 million dollars in grant funding that provided direct support to over 30,000 students. His legacy of humility, generosity, and reverence for humanity has helped young people defy the odds and achieve remarkable success. Help us continue his legacy by supporting the Scott Willison Memorial Scholarship.

We need to raise a total of $25,000. Family and friends have already generously raised $6,000 and challenge us to raise an additional $6,500 through our PonyUp campaign. If we meet that challenge, College of Education’s Dean Osguthorpe will unlock a $12,500 match, bringing our total to the $25,000 needed to endow the scholarship and cement Scott’s legacy. All gifts generously given beyond that will increase impact of the scholarship to even more students.

In addition to your gift, please share our project link: And, if you have memories and images you would like to share, we would appreciate hearing from you. You can email your memories to

Scott Willison - Educator, Mentor, Father

Dr. Scott Willison was born in Indiana and raised in rural Brown County.  He was the middle child of nine brothers and sisters, and spent many days hiking in the woods, riding his horse Molly and raising Toro, the calf he won from the 4-H scramble. As an elementary student, Scott showed early signs of leadership and compassion and was invited by his basketball coach to help out at a summer camp, Camp Palawopec.  For the next 16 summers, Scott led campers and counselors in adventures, overcoming obstacles, and finding within themselves the strength to meet challenges they would face not only on a camping trip, but also in life.

Scott would eventually become one of two of his nine siblings to seek and earn a college degree. He was very grateful to the Nashville, IN Lions club for a scholarship to attend Indiana University.  It was this boost of support that set him on a course to be a teacher and eventually a professor.

Boise State and the College of Education brought Scott, his wife Jenny, and their three children to Idaho in 1997.  Scott made an immediate impact within the College as an advocate for underrepresented students and students who were seeking to overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. Scott's reputation among students was that he was a great professor, quick with a joke, and genuinely wanted all students to succeed. He had high expectations of himself, his students and his colleagues, and would spend as much time as needed to extend support and counseling to anyone experiencing challenges. He believed the vocation of teaching to be the most important of callings.  

Outside of the classroom, Scott became a leader in the College, Boise State University, and the nation in the area of underserved students.  Scott served as the director of the Center for Multicultural and Educational Opportunities on campus for 18 years, and was the national HEP CAMP president.  Under his dedicated leadership, the CMEO brought in $3.5 million annually to support university students at Boise State, high school students, and those seeking GEDs throughout Idaho.  In total, Dr. Scott Willison raised approximately $42 million dollars, which supported approximately 30,000 students.

Scott pursued all that he did with enthusiasm and a sense of joy and positively affected all with whom he worked.  Scott's untimely death was felt deeply across the Boise State community, among both faculty and students alike.  We are asking for your support in continuing Scott's work by contributing to the Scott Willison Memorial Scholarship fund.  The scholarship will be directed to students who have overcome obstacles to attend Boise State.  In addition to a monetary scholarship, the recipient will be assigned a Boise State faculty mentor, to further honor Scott’s legacy of encouragement and support for students.

Center of Multicultural and Educational Opportunities (CMEO): Encourages and faciliates academic achievement and personal growth among under-represented groups in our school and communities and to foster and celebrate human diversity. Through 12 federally funded programs, students are guided from pre-college enrollment to post-secondary graduation. <<>>

High School Equivalency Program (HEP): Serves students from migrant or seasonal farmworker families who have dropped out of high school and supports their efforts in obtaining their High School Equivalency Credential. This program impacts over 6,000 students annually. <<>>

College Assistance Migratory Program (CAMP): Serves first year college students from migrant or seasonal farmworker families with academic, personal, and financial support in their pursuit of a their baccalaureate degree(s). This program impacts over 2,400 students annually. <<>>


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For years, Scott directed Summer Academy, a K-8 enrichment camp for local youth in partnership with the Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies.


26 Years

Scott was a family man, dedicated to Jenny, his wife of 26 years, and his three children. He was Jenny's best friend, her biggest cheerleader, and kitchen dance partner.


42 Million

While Scott’s leadership and contributions to programs in CMEO, CAMP, HEP, and TRiO can be quantified in an excess of $42 million, it is best captured in the awe-inspiring and heartwarming stories of thousands of young people whom he helped defy the odds and achieve remarkable success in their schooling and future life pursuits.



Scott joined the faculty at Boise State University in 1997, where he became a daunting force for good in the College of Education and the university overall.


March 29th

Scott was born March 29, 1959, in Indianapolis, Indiana.


700 Students

Scott helped empower students through a CMEO grant that today continues to provide career counseling, educational workshops, intensive advising and more for 140 students each year. More than 700 students will be impacted by this legacy over the span of five years.


1989-what a year!

Of all the gifts he gave to his friends, the greatest was Jenny, who stirred his soul. They married in 1989, the same year he received his doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

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