“Better get it in gear before you run out of road.”

—Traditional George Beardsley advice to contemporaries and to the young.

In the Spring semester of 2014, the Center of the American West offered its first two Beardsley Family Scholarships of $1000 each to undergraduates at CU Boulder. (The amount has since been increased to $2,000 – $4,000 per scholarship.) Eligible students must be full time (enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and also enrolled in the Center’s Western American Studies certificate program. Winners of the scholarship must agree to speak to the Board, and to write a report on the opportunities that the scholarship opened to them as well as a thank you note to the Beardsley family.

To apply, students submit the application form along with an essay describing their personal and intellectual connections to the West and their commitment to Western American studies, an academic transcript, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member or employer.

The Story Behind the Scholarship
George Beardsley became a Board member of the Center of the American West in 2008. In his time on the Board, he consistently reminded us all to take every opportunity to recruit young people into our circles. Following his coaching, we created two new Board positions for recent CU graduates. In the months before his death in 2011, in several phone conversations, George continued to speak, intensely and inspirationally, to Patty Limerick about the importance of doing everything possible to find and engage deserving students who could benefit from the Center. All of us at the Center try to steer by George Beardsley’s exhortations to us.

“Beardsley did commercial development in Vail, Copper Mountain, Genesee and Inverness. Among other community activities, he was a founding trustee of Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, won the Cranmer Award from Colorado Open Lands and was on the Denver Water Board. His family has ranching operations in Summit County.”

–Denver Post

“When he met someone new he’d ask them about 100 questions. He was a no-nonsense guy in the office, but had a subtle, dry sense of humor.”

–George Beardsley’s longtime friend, Clay Boelz