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Virginia Smith Scholarship

Smith Family Trust: Virginia Smith and Cyril Smith Scholarship programs

Virginia Smith Scholarship

The Virginia Smith Trust is administered by the Merced County Board of Education, sitting as the Trustees for the testamentary trust of Virginia Smith, a former resident of Merced, California Scholarships are awarded by a committee of Trustees based on the application presented.  

Virginia Smith left Merced when she was a young teen but retained strong ties and pleasant memories of her home town.  Memories so enduring that in her Will she provided for the formation of the Virginia Smith Trust with the intent to offer scholarships to deserving students who attended high schools in the City of Merced.  

​Virginia Smith bequeathed her 7000 acre estate to the Merced County Board of Education to establish a trust that would provide college scholarships to area youth.  The Trust leased the land for 27 years and used the earnings from rent for awarding scholarships.  Beginning in 1995, the Trust operated the Merced Hills Golf Club on 197 acres of the land.  In the spring of​ 2002 the ranch and the golf course were sold to the University of California.  The golf course site is now the tenth campus of the UC system-UC Merced, opened for classes on September 6, 2005.

The Trust is still in the land business, as the Trustees have joined with the UC Merced in development of 1,240 acres immediately south of the UC Merced campus.  Planning is about to begin for the community, which may provide shops, housing, schools, a future business park and more.  Earnings from the development will fund future Virginia Smith Scholarships.


2016-17 Virginia Smith Scholarship Brochure.pdf​​​​​​​​​​​​

2016-17 VST Application - FILLABLE.pdf

2016-17 VST Application.pdf


For more information, please contact:

Lori Ward
Smith Family Scholarships Office
Merced County Office of Education
Phone: (209) 381-6604