People who knew our Founders Gertrude and Walter Baugher describe them as warm, friendly people who had no children of their own.
The Baughers were well off financially in the eyes of their fellow Mint Canyon homesteaders. This may have been due in part to Gertrude’s brother back East who was said to have made millions during WWI by manufacturing aircraft engines.
Although the Baughers were comfortable financially, they lived extremely frugally. One Mint Canyon resident said their house and furnishings were quite old and rarely replaced. For example, a hole in the carpet would simply be covered by a throw rug -- Gertrude always said that she and Walter just didn’t need that much to get by.
The Baughers were very generous with others, however. They quietly helped the children of their neighbors with money for school supplies and necessities that were needed for the children to remain in school. It’s hard to miss this generosity in Gertrude’s smiling face or the children looking toward her in the 1920 Mint Canyon Club displayed.
The Baughers decided to formalize this help for students in 1951 when they founded the William S. Hart Union High School District Scholarship and Loan Foundation with help from their friend Judge MacDougall.
In 1964, a trust fund of $20,000 was invested to provide annual scholarships to students at each school in the District. After Gertrude’s death in 1975, additional funds were added to the trust and the School Board recommended that the Foundation’s operations be separated from the District.
On July 27, 1976, the Santa Clarita Valley Scholarship Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)3, a federal and state tax-exempt non-profit corporation, which enables donors to claim tax deductions. In keeping with the original charter, the Foundation has a symbiotic relationship with the William S. Hart UHSD and application is open only to seniors graduating from one of the District’s ten high schools.