Dougherty Foundation

Dougherty Foundation

M.J.G. Dougherty and wife Bess established the Dougherty Foundation as a non-profit educational trust in 1954. Its purpose was “to assist deserving and qualified students who would not otherwise be able to continue their undergraduate or post graduate education.” At that time, the Foundation offered low interest loans to students whose parents were not able to pay college expenses. Scholarship awards were added as funds became available.

M.J.G. Dougherty, or Colonel Dougherty as he was widely known, played an important role in the history of Mesa, Arizona. He was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of the Territory of Arizona in November, 1909.

Born in Franklin, Kewanee County, Wisconsin on May 19, 1880, the son of a lumberman, M.J.G. received his education in the public schools of his home town. He attended St. James Academy and Stevens Point State College and graduated from Wisconsin State Teachers College in 1906. He received his law degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana in 1908. In 1909, he married Bessis L. Severn, a college classmate and talented musician who was born in Cuba, New York in 1878.

Though childless, the Dougherty’s had a keen interest in education and in helping students. The idea for the Foundation grew out of the Dougherty’s love for children and education.

Please visit to see which schools award this scholarship and to learn more information about the Dougherty Foundation.


Dougherty Foundation scholarships are awarded by board action upon the recommendation of school financial aid officers at the accredited colleges and universities at which the Foundation has established an allotment of funds.

Community College Scholarship Guidelines:

Students that meet eligibility criteria and are enrolled at a participating community college are eligible for up to $1,000 in scholarship funds each academic year. Awards are based on the number of credit hours taken per semester.

6-8 hours = $250 per semester 9-11 hours = $375 per semester 12 + hours = $500 per semester

Eligibility status for the scholarship program for community college students is limited to $2,000 regardless of the number of semesters the student attends at any community college.

Community college students continuing on at the university level are encouraged to apply for the Dougherty Scholarship and Loan program at participating schools.

Awards are not transferable between participating schools. Students must re-apply if they transfer to another participating school to complete their degree.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible for scholarship or the scholarship and loan program, all students must meet the following criteria:
1. Unmet Financial need, as determined by Federal guidelines
2. Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or better
3. U.S. Citizenship (resident aliens are not eligible)
4. Arizona resident
5. Full time student status (community college students must be
enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours)

Scholarships may be renewed if students continue to show financial need and maintain academic achievement. A progress review will be done each semester to verify completion of credit hours and cumulative G.P.A.