The Perinton Historical Society Scholarship


Scholarship Winners Announced for 2015:
Congratulations to Seth Weidman & Daniel Smith winners of the 2015 Perinton Historical Society Scholarship!

Seth winner paper detailed the history of Fairports' First Congregational Church. Daniels submission discussed the involvement of Perinton citizens in the Underground Railroad.Seth Weidman will attend the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Daniel Smith will attend John Carroll University. Each school will receive $1,000 to be applied toward the student's tuition.

Scholarship Winners Announced for 2014:
Congratulations to Hannah Donnelly and Meghan Crawford, winners of the 2014 Perinton Historical Society Scholarship!

KingC.DonnellyH.CrawfordM.AngevineC.PorayB.6.2014Hannah's winning paper detailed the multifaceted life of Civil War veteran and Fairport citizen George Filkins. Meghan's submission discussed the life of Fairport's legendary football coach, Joe Cummings.

Our Scholarship winners, Hannah Donnelly and Meghan
Crawford, received recognition at the Dollars for Scholars
awards ceremony on June 4th. PHS representatives at the event included Clark King, Catherine Angevine and Bill Poray.

Hannah Donnelly will attend Ithaca College, and Meghan Crawford will attend Syracuse University. Each school will receive a $1,000 check to be applied toward our students' tuitions. For more on this years winners.

Thanks to Fairport-Perinton Dollars for Scholars for their support, and a special thanks to all who have contributed to the scholarship fund.

Winners in 2013:
Jessica Wurzer and Samantha Broking, were awarded $1,00o for research papers on the history of Perinton. For more about this years winners.

Winners in 2012:
Megan Gilmore and Brandy Meixell both Fairport High School seniors were awarded $1,000 for research papers on the history of Perinton. For more about this years winners.

Scholarship Origins:

For the first time in July of 2010 the Society announced they would award a scholarship to high school seniors who have an interest in local history. Scholarships were last given in 2015.

The scholarship focused on Perinton history.

The Peter McDonough Memorial Scholarship (PMMS) now called the Perinton Historical Society Scholarship was awarded to a high school senior whose residence is within the geographic boundaries of the Fairport School District. The scholarship was administered and awarded through Fairport-Perinton Dollars for Scholars.

At its' inseption the scholarship was to honor Peter McDonough a 50 year resident of Fairport, Mayor, County Legislator and SUNY Professor. The Society received many donations in his memory and these donations became the foundation for the scholarship program. For more information about Peter McDonough, please see sidebar article.

Sponsored by the Perinton Historical Society, two $1,000 scholarships were awarded every year until 2015. Interested students submited research papers on an aspect of Fairport and/or Perinton history. A panel of judges determined the winner.




Scholarship honors Peter McDonough

McDonough, Peter J. 
Fairport: 1927 - 2010

Former Fairport Mayor, County Legislator and SUNY Professor Peter J. McDonough’s memory will live on in the Village and within the Perinton Historical Society.

Mr. McDonough and his wife resided in the village of Fairport for nearly fifty years, raising seven children in their home on South Main Street.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, McDonough was a fixture in local government, serving as the mayor of Fairport for twelve years (1972 - 1984), followed by several years as the minority whip in the Monroe County Legislature. 

Born February 26, 1927 in New York City, Peter grew up in a family of first generation Irish immigrants. His enlistment in the US Navy at 17 and pride of his Irish heritage would later shape many aspects of his personal and professional life.

He was a prolific collector of naval history and ship models, and his passion for community service forged Rochester's Sister City alliance with Waterford, Ireland stemming from McDonough's personal friendship with Waterford mayor.

His election in Fairport marked the first time a Democrat was appointed to the role after decades of Republican administration. McDonough went on to serve three terms but his middle term was a hotly contested victory determined by a single vote, leading the town paper to post the front-page headline " Landslide Pete Wins Again".

While mayor, he directed the DPW to paint a green stripe down Fairport's Main Street in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. In 1978, his combative Irish style captured media attention when he resolved a budget impasse between Fairport and the federal government over repairs to local railway roadwork by threatening to park snowplows on the national railway running through the center of Fairport. Peter was instrumental in preserving Fairport's historic lift bridge and defeated efforts that attempted to privatize Fairport's Municipal Electric Service, which remains a legacy for village residents today.

During his twelve-year administration, Fairport undertook a major urban renewal program, creating the Village Landing retail shops located on the banks of the Erie Canal.

With an undergraduate degree from St. John's University and postgraduate degree from New York University, McDonough capped a successful career in sales and marketing with a move to academia. His love for teaching began early in his career when he served as a part-time faculty member at Xavier University of Ohio. After serving as marketing vice president for a Rochester business, he joined the State University of New York and became a tenured professor in marketing at Empire State College, where he taught for fourteen years.

In conjunction with his faculty post, Peter served as Regional Director of the American Management Association and established a consulting practice specializing in Creativity and Marketing Strategy serving national blue chip companies such as 3M, as well as regional businesses throughout New York.

Many, many donations were made to the Perinton Historical Society in memory of Mr. McDonough. These donations became the foundation for the Society’s scholarship program, launched in 2011 for local high school seniors.

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