Nancy Fike Scholarship 2023

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The McHenry County Historical Society has established an annual $1,000 college scholarship to honor its former administrator, Nancy Fike.

For more than 40 years, Fike demonstrated her love for McHenry County and its history. Her attention to education and historic accuracy can be observed in the programs, museum, research library, and buildings now owned and maintained by the Society.

The Nancy Fike Scholarship is open to graduating seniors AND (new) first-year college students who have graduated from a McHenry County high school and who are, or plan on, studying history, education or the social sciences. Children and grandchildren of MCHS Board members and staff are not eligible. The financial award will be given on behalf of the student to his or her chosen college or university.

Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, show proof of community service and write a minimum 500 word essay pertaining to McHenry County. Essay topics will be announced each year by the Society.

Scholarship Rubric
(Total Maximum Score: 100 points)

I.    Overall Content/Appearance of Essay (20 points)
        Topic presented with interest and thoroughness
II.   Evidence of Personal Research (20 points)
        Clear/well written. Bibliography, citations, footnotes
III.  Originality of Essay (20 points)
         Evidence of fresh new approach to the topic
IV.   Grammatical Construction of Essay (10 points)
          Sentence structure, punctuation and spelling
V.     Community Involvement/Service (10 points)
VI.    Leadership Responsibilities (10 points)
VII.  Volunteer Work (5 points)
VIII. Work Experience (5 points)

This year's topic is:

As we approach the 250th anniversary of our independence in 2026, the hallmark of our representative democracy – free and fair elections – has come under recent scrutiny and question. Share your thoughts about the importance of fair and transparent elections at every level, and the repercussions should the process be undermined. In other words, what is the importance of free and fair elections to a representative democracy?  What should be done to ensure the right to vote?  For example, should the Voting Rights Act of 1965 be renewed?


Submit your documents online, or download this PDF and mail your documents.

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