Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has announced the first recipients of a new annual scholarship created to support the College’s students. The Henry B. and Mary D. Holt Scholarship was established in 2021 to honor the Holts for their lifelong commitment to the arts, and is supported by Frederick and Renee Keator of the GRFHM Foundation.

The Keators also also wanted to honor Frederick's father, who was a first-generation college student.

A total amount of $4,000 will be distributed through multiple awards for the fall 2021 semester. Scholarships are limited to current and active MCLA students who are in good standing and first-generation students (excluding first-year students) who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in the arts or humanities.

The fall 2021 recipients follow:

Mardochee "Mardo" Bouanga ’23, who is earning bachelor’s degree in sociology from MCLA with hopes of inspiring others in his home country, the Republic of Congo.

Jaydn Dunham ’24 is studying psychology and sociology to better understand and help those suffering from mental illness.

Erin Sears ’22, a radiologic sciences major, aims to combine knowledge from the medical and humanities fields to be a better patient advocate.

Veronica Johnston ’23, a bilingual educator and business owner originally from Peru, is earning an interdisciplinary studies degree to access "the American Dream."

Jeannie Maschino can be reached at 413-496-6256 or

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989.