The Ridgefield Historical Society has awarded its first-ever scholarship to Tyler Ingram, Ridgefield High School Class of Ridgefield 2022. The $1,000 scholarship was introduced as part of the Society’s 20th Anniversary celebrations this year. All Ridgefield High School students were invited to share a presentation, in the medium of their choice, expressing an aspect of Ridgefield history that has resonated with them.
“The scholarship submissions we received,” says Tracy Seem, president of the Historical Society Board and a member of the scholarship selection committee, “were thoughtful and impressive. They gave us new perspectives and introduced us to elements of Ridgefield we weren’t necessarily aware of.”
Ingram’s submission recounts the lessons he derived from a project he worked on, transcribing the letters of a Ridgefield family at the turn of the 20th Century. In transcribing the letters, Ingram discovered that while centuries of time may separate individuals, common thoughts and actions unite them. He also was able to relate the commentary in the letters to historic events he was learning about at school.
The letter transcription project was Ingram’s first assignment as a Ridgefield Historical Society intern, a role he sought out in early 2021 and began remotely due to the pandemic. “While Tyler has been our intern for over a year,” says Betsy Reid, Historical Society Collections Manager who has mentored Ingram throughout his internship, “that isn’t the reason he won the scholarship. Rather, it is his sensibility and history-mindedness that led him to both the internship and the scholarship. Tyler has a very distinct appreciation for history and the individuals who compose it.”
The Ridgefield Historical Society scholarship was presented on Wednesday, June 1 at the Ridgefield High School Awards Ceremony, along with many others. Ingram, who will be attending the George Washington University in Washington DC next fall, appreciated the occasion. “I’m very grateful to the Historical Society for the scholarship gift,” he says, “and I’m also excited to have been the very first Ridgefield Historical Society Scholarship Recipient. Being a first is especially historic.”