Harlan H. Griswold Memorial Scholarship
Established February 8, 2001
By the Harlan H. Griswold Family
The family of Harlan H. Griswold and the Woodbury Scholarship Fund has established an endowed scholarship with an initial annual award of $500, in memory of Harlan H. Griswold.
Mr. Griswold’s professional career, like his father’s before him, was in banking. For the last 20 years of his career he was Chairman and President of the Waterbury National Bank and a noted innovator. At the dawn of the commercial computing era, his bank was the first in the United States to get permission from the Federal Reserve Bank to offer electronic data processing services to outside customers of the bank for accounting and payroll. He also served as Vice President of the Connecticut Banker’s Association and as Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Commission for Economic Development.
Harlan Griswold believed that success in life is measured by how much we are able to help other people, and to be sure that whatever we do leaves the people whose lives we touched better for having known us. As he put it, what matters is not how much you get out of life, but how much you give to it, and to other people, whether in love, knowledge or service.
He was active in many community and state organizations, but is perhaps best remembered for his passion for history and historic preservation. He served as Chairman of the State Historical Commission, of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and of the State Bicentennial Commission. The Connecticut Trust’s award for individuals or groups which have made notable achievements in historic preservation is known as the Harlan H. Griswold award. There are countless individual buildings and streetscapes in the state which were preserved from the wrecking ball because of his intervention. At the same time, however, he was no opponent of modern architecture, and believed that every building should be true to the period when it was built, not merely a reproduction of the architecture of an earlier age. His approach was not that of the antiquarian who believes that old is always better than new, but rather that we should preserve the evidence of the past so that we could learn from it intellectually, socially, morally and aesthetically, even as we gave full rein to our creativity in finding new forms and ideas.
The evidence of
his efforts is all over the state. Si monumentum
requires, circumspice (if you seek his monument, look