Statement from the Daniels Fund Board of Directors
Regarding Scholarship Program Application
"I fought in two wars, not only to save the freedom of our great nation, but to preserve the free enterprise system."
— Bill Daniels in 1992
We are responding to the recent discussion that began on social media over the Daniels Scholarship Program application questions about patriotism and the free enterprise system.
Our founder, Bill Daniels, loved America dearly. He fought in two wars to defend this country and the freedoms we enjoy today. Bill Daniels was also passionate about the free enterprise system, which he believed provided the best opportunity to help people improve their lives. It was this system that helped Bill Daniels build his business and reach his dreams, ultimately giving him the ability to provide scholarships to help young people pursue their dreams.
We are stewards of Bill Daniels’ legacy. As such, we have an obligation to follow his direction for the Daniels Fund. Most of us knew Bill Daniels well and we take this responsibility very seriously. While there was additional emphasis on patriotism and free enterprise this year, these values have always been part of the selection criteria.
The application questions were designed to identify applicants who share these values that meant so much to Bill Daniels. They were not intended to discourage any applicants based on ethnicity or politics. The idea that love for our country and belief in free enterprise is limited to certain ethnicities or political affiliations is simply not true.
Since the Daniels Fund’s inception in 2000, nearly 4,200 students (all of whom had financial need) have been awarded the Daniels Scholarship. It is an inclusive program with the majority being first-generation college students from diverse backgrounds. Our financial support of these students now totals more than $200 million.
In addition, our grants program has invested nearly $650 million in nonprofit organizations that provide a broad range of services to help people throughout our region.
As always, we appreciate feedback and respect others’ viewpoints and will continue to refine the scholarship program while remaining steadfast to Bill Daniels’ direction.
Bill Daniels left an amazing and impactful legacy — one that we are truly honored to steward.
Board of Directors