During his 10 years with College Park Scholars, Ken Joseph was known for sending witty emails, being a supportive mentor, and occasionally showing up to class with a tub of ice cream for all. He died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 40.

Now, the family of the late associate director of College Park Scholars’ Media, Self and Society has given $50,000 to establish the Kenneth A. Joseph Memorial Endowed Scholarship, a gift they hope will be a way for students to “learn about him and also to honor his memory,” says his sister, Kim Joseph.

The need-based scholarship will go to incoming freshmen in the College Park Scholars living-learning program, with preference given to students from Prince George’s County, Baltimore City and Baltimore County in Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Funding, which will be awarded for the first time in Fall 2019, can continue through the student’s sophomore year so that it lasts throughout the two-year Scholars program. 

“We wanted to try to think about what Ken would say if he were here to tell us what kind of scholarship he would want,” said Joseph. “Our family knows there are some kids who want to attend UMD but have financial difficulties or maybe just need a little bit more money than they currently have in order to do so.”

“Ken’s dedication to Scholars students was legendary,” said Marilee Lindemann, executive director of College Park Scholars. “This gift is a marvelous way to honor his memory and extend his care to future generations of Scholars students.”

Ken Joseph, whose father was in the military, spent much of his childhood in Silver Spring, Md., and came to Scholars in 1999, first as a coordinator, then as associate director of the Media, Self and Society Program as well as Scholars’ admission counselor. “Scholars was something that gave him a tremendous amount of satisfaction and joy, and he was, to my mind, devoted to education and wanted everyone to have access to the same opportunities he had had in education,” said Kim. 

Joseph was famously committed to his students—in a Diamondback article about his death, then-senior Courtney Pomeroy, co-editor in chief of Unwind! Magazine, for which Joseph was faculty adviser, said, “He was always there, offering to make copies or order pizza. He had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. Not just in College Park, but anywhere.”

“He was an incredible, joyful person who loved his students,” said Kim. “He spent time with flashcards of all of his students every year learning about them ... so he’d recognize them on campus so he could greet them personally and make them feel comfortable right away. He had such incredible devotion both to the program but, more importantly, to the people in the program.”