The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has the distinct honor of being named to manage the Graham Sefton Baskin and Anna Mae Sweeney Baskin Foundation. This foundation has an almost 30-year history in Indiana County of providing scholarships to students studying nursing or physical education.
Anna Mae Sweeney Baskin was a nurse who had the distinction of being the first female graduate to receive a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Following her graduation, she pursued her career and became a nurse for William Carnegie, a cousin of Andrew Carnegie. She traveled all over the world in his entourage before returning home and marrying Graham Baskin. Baskin was a captain in the Army during World War II and later became a physical education teacher, and eventually, principal of Marion Center Area High School.
Before Anna Mae died in 1995, she met with her close friend and advisor, Mr. Edward Mackey, on how to manage her estate once she passed on. Mr. Mackey suggested creating a foundation to support scholarships for people pursuing careers that she and her husband performed in their lifetime. The Baskin Foundation awards scholarships for higher education to students who are attending or have attended high school in Indiana County and whose intent is to pursue a degree or career in nursing or physical education. The first scholarships were distributed in 1997 and through the year 2023, the Baskin Foundation has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships, at an average of $52,500 per year, supporting more than 20 students per year.
Most recently, the Baskin Foundation has been administered by Mr. Mackey’s children, primarily Lisa C. Thomas, with help from Lisa’s husband Tim and Edward E. Mackey, Jr. When it came time for them to consider who would manage the scholarship for future generations, they looked for an expert. “The Mackey family is honored and blessed to have been a part of the very important work of this foundation over the last almost 30 years, which has assisted many in achieving their post-secondary educational goals. We are extremely confident that transitioning the management of the foundation to the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies will ensure the Baskin Foundation will be able to aid Indiana County students in pursuing their dreams and professional aspirations for many years to come,” said Thomas.
Applicants interested in applying for the 2024 scholarship season should complete the Community Foundation’s Easy Apply common application and eligibility quiz, which can be found on here.