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Scholarship Overview



This scholarship is given by the Hartney Family to honor the memory of both Tom Hartney, the curmudgeonly but soft-hearted owner of the local Baskin Robbins who passed away in 2003, and his daughter Ann Hartney, who died of breast cancer in March 2013.

Tom and Shelly Hartney moved to Durango in 1969 and Tom immediately became an active member of the community. He devoted many years of his life to coaching and managing youth teams, in basketball, soccer and baseball. He was an active Rotarian for more than 20 years. He read stories to second graders at Park Elementary School and each year invited school children to paint the windows of his store during the holiday season. He served on the Durango 9-R School Board from 1995 to 1999. At the time of his death, Tom was a member of the Board of Directors at the Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence (now the Durango Education Foundation). Ann also served on the Board of Directors of DEF after her father’s death. She was a coach for the Durango High School debate team when she first moved to Durango and was part of the Writing Program faculty at Fort Lewis College for ten years. Ann’s last professional position was as an advocate for victims of domestic violence, working through the La Plata County District Attorney’s office – work that affected her profoundly.

Tom and Ann both enjoyed rich intellectual lives outside of work. Tom had a lifelong passion for the study of history and social issues. He pursued a graduate degree in history as a young married man, but did not finish due to his obligations to his family. Tom and Shelly were actively involved in civil rights issues in Chicago in the 1960s and encouraged all of their children, including their youngest, Ann, to understand the issues and to always speak up for what they felt was right. Ann carried these values into her active involvement in the fight for equality for the Idaho LGBTQ community in the 1990s and in her work for victims of domestic violence. Tom’s love for history was mirrored in Ann’s deep interest in genealogy. She created a family archive and was never happier than when she could spend hours pursuing the answers to questions about family history. Ann also bought old photos at estate sales and antique shops and worked tirelessly to reconnect these photos with their families. Tom and Ann both volunteered their time to judge National History Day events at Durango High School


This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from Durango High School or Durango Big Picture High School. Student should demonstrate a strong interest in history, a deep commitment to social issues and community service, and a desire to pursue a college degree related to these passions. There is no minimum GPA for consideration for this scholarship.

Application Cycle: January 11, 2024 - March 11, 2024

Deadline to Submit: March 11, 2024 @ 5PM MST
Award Amount: $1,000 from the Hartney Family
Selection: Finalists may be required to interview before final decisions. Recipient will be selected by the DEF Scholarship Committee in conjunction with the Hartney Family.


This scholarship will be awarded to the student who best exemplifies the values and interests that Tom and Ann Hartney Shared: a love of learning, a belief in education, a commitment to community, and a conviction that an understand of history and the issues that face us makes us better citizens.

There is no minimum GPA for consideration for this scholarship.

To be eligible, student must: pursue higher education at any accredited university or community college in any of the following (or closely related) fields:
-Cultural Studies
-Gender Studies
-Southwest Studies
-Urban Studies


Applications are by electronic submission only via the link provided below. If you do not have access to a computer, please inform your High School Counselor, Educator, and/or Trio Representative. To ensure a complete application, please carefully read the outlined details below.

A complete application will include:
-All student information (i.e. name, contact information, GPA, intended colleges, etc.)
-Current transcript including senior year mid-term grades; complete senior transcript may be required before scholarship is funded to college.
-Letter of interest (1000 words maximum) stating name of scholarship being requested and discusses the following:
-Evidence of your commitment to the study of history and/or social issues. Examples might include:

a. a description of your participation in National History Day events;
b. evidence of participation in multiple history or social studies courses;
c. a description of relevant projects or papers you’ve completed;
d. a description of related community activities.

-A brief summary of community service activities you have performed during your high school years
-A description of your college plans at this point. Include what you plan to study and why you made this choice.
-A vision for how your life after college will demonstrate your passion for history and/or social issues.
-Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from unrelated parties able to address your interests and activities as they relate to these criteria.

Have questions? Contact Wendy Allsbrook Javier at

970-769-7600 or

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