Media release

New scholarship fund helps nearly 90 students with $470,000 in financial aid

The Robert G. and Joyce Andrew College Scholarship Fund supports students attending Rhode Island colleges and universities

A new scholarship fund at the Rhode Island Foundation is sending nearly 90 students off to college with more than $470,000 in financial aid for those attending local schools. Students from more than two dozen cities and towns, including Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket and Warwick, received aid.

The inaugural round of funding is from the new Robert G. and Joyce Andrew College Scholarship Fund, which provides financial-need-based scholarships to students who pursue undergraduate study at Bryant University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island or the Community College of Rhode Island.

“Our scholarships can turn a college dream into a college destination. They give students options they never thought they would have,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. "Ensuring the legacy of generous donors who want to support the community over many years is central to our work. We are honored that Bob and Joyce Andrew trusted us to preserve their legacy with these scholarships, which will benefit these students and so many others well into the future.”

The Andrew scholarships are open to students within three years of graduating from a Rhode Island high school, so many current college students are also eligible. Many of the scholarships are renewable for up to three additional academic years

The Foundation has been offering scholarships since 1922, when the Providence High School Scholarship Fund was established. The Andrew scholarships are among $4 million in financial aid that was available this year. The Foundation will begin accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year after January 1. For more information, visit

“Educational Success is one of our strategic initiatives. All of our scholarships enable students to spend more time focusing on their studies and less time worrying about how to pay for books or college loans. Just finding out that help is available will change the way some students think about college,” said Steinberg.

The Andrews made the decision to donate a portion of their estate to the Foundation almost 25 years ago. By the time the couple passed away, their donation had grown to be worth $12 million, the largest gift expressly for scholarships in the Foundation’s 106-year history.

Married for 59 years, the Andrews grew up in Providence's West End in the 1930s and 1940s. After Bob returned from serving with the U.S. Army in Germany, he and Joyce began investing in real estate. Joyce was a teller at Citizens Bank in Providence until her retirement. Bob had a long and successful career as a businessman, including stints at the former Fleet Bank and as a vice president of one of the largest real estate firms in Rhode Island. He then launched several small businesses and went into commercial real estate before his retirement.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants last year. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.