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About the Irwin Family:

Susan Benteen and William Hyde Irwin retired in San Lorenzo Valley, after noted careers in the San Francisco arts community. The two shared a lifelong interest in the arts. William Irwin was a professional painter and they both taught art at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) from 1932 to 1947. Susan Irwin also served as supervisor of art for the San Francisco Unified School District.

After her husband’s death Sue Irwin established the William Hyde And Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund in 1986 in honor of her husband with a check for $10,000. Sue Benteen Irwin wanted others to have the same kind of art education that allowed her and her husband to flourish in a thriving arts community.  Susan Irwin received a scholarship to attend Columbia University. When she died in 1990 the endowment totaled $500,000, which provides $2,500 scholarships annually to art students in visual arts. Today the endowment has grown to over $1M generating at least 12 annual merit scholarships plus Irwin project grants open to all art students to apply for each quarter. This scholarship shows the far-reaching effects of donor support for the arts. 


Click here to listen to the 2020 Irwin Scholars podcast.

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