Priscilla Backman Scholarship for Activism

The Priscilla Backman Scholarship for Activism was established to honor the memory of Priscilla Backman (1922-2015), a 1943 graduate of Goddard’s Junior College and a 1946 graduate of the Bachelor of Arts program.

Priscilla was a long-time anti-war activist. She was also involved in the movement to abolish the death penalty and organized factory workers. In 1953, the Federal Bureau of Investigations blacklisted Backman and her husband, Harold, for their labor organizing. Later, Backman became heavily involved in the anti-nuclear movement. She returned to Goddard in 1965 to establish and direct the Off-Campus Work Term program. In the 1990s, and until she could no longer make the trip, Backman often volunteered in Goddard’s Archive with her brother, Forest K. Davis, a former dean and faculty member.

The scholarship is made possible by a generous contribution from the Peter Backman and Annie Christopher Fund, Spencer Backman, and Sienna Flanders through the Vermont Community Foundation.

Award Amount



September 1, 2023


The Priscilla Backman Scholarship for Activism shall be open to all women who are new students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at Goddard College, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, disability, age, or veteran status, subject to the following criteria:

  • Applicants must have a demonstrated financial need.
  • Applicants must apply for admission and be admitted to a Goddard College undergraduate degree program to be considered for the award.
  • Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to activism, social justice, and/or sustainability.


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