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Woodbury, Connecticut

Ella T. Grasso Memorial Scholarship

Established May 1, 1996

By Woodbury Democratic Town Committee

The Woodbury Democratic Town Committee named their scholarship in honor of Ella T. Grasso, who was committed to understanding the social and economic problems in her community and state, and who promoted practical solutions to improve the lives of working people.

Ella Tambussi Grasso grew up in Windsor Locks, the daughter of a baker. Because of her studiousness at St. Mary’s School, she was awarded a Rockefeller Scholarship to attend the Chaffee School. Her graduation with honors from Chaffee earned her a scholarship to attend Mt. Holyoke College.

At Mt. Holyoke, Ella’s course work in labor economics was supplemented with practical experience working on projects with working women at the local YWCA, and as an undergraduate assistant at the Hudson Shore Labor School, which provided classes to women employed as domestics and in factories. Her senior thesis on workers’ compensation law in Connecticut suggested two major reforms: state funding for work-related illness and injury compensation and standardization of compensation law.

While at Mt. Holyoke, Ella also promoted interest in current events while she was president of the American Student Union. At monthly meetings, the club discussed domestic and international issues, and Ella also published a weekly article about current affairs, promoting books and on campus lectures.

Ella’s subsequent service to her community, and to the state of Connecticut is not surprising given her early background. She spent her life working for the public good, in all her elected positions as a State Assemblywoman, Secretary of the State, Congresswoman, and as Governor of Connecticut. The Ella Grasso Scholarship encourages Woodbury high school graduates to continue their education in memory of Ella Grasso’s commitment to public service.

If you would like to learn more about Woodbury Scholarship Fund Dollars for Scholars®, contact us at or by mail at P.O. Box 716, Woodbury, CT  06798.