Worcester State University
Scholarship Directory


The Vanessa Anne Dunn Memorial Scholarship


Criteria: (One $1,500 Award) The Vanessa Anne Dunn Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a full-time, matriculated Worcester State University junior or senior majoring in Criminal Justice. The student must possess a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Though not exclusive, preference will be given to a student who demonstrates financial need. Applicants for this scholarship should submit a one-page essay citing their goals and need.


Vanessa Anne DunnOn Christmas Eve 2009, Vanessa Anne Dunn’s life was tragically cut short in a car accident. In the spirit of the words of a young actor, James Dean, whose life was similarly lost at a young age, Vanessa believed, “Dream like you will live forever, but live like you will die today.” In her all-too-brief 23 years, Vanessa loved life and lived it to the fullest.


Vanessa grew up in Millbury, Massachusetts and was an avid dancer with the Nora Borelli Dance Studio. Her dazzling smile, graceful beauty, and generous and loving personality won her a host of friends.


Vanessa graduated in 2006 from Quinsigamond Community College with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. In pursuing her degree, Vanessa was inspired by the career of her Dad, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Dunn, a 36-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police. She continued her studies at Worcester State University, and was just four courses shy of reaching her goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in May 2010.


They say that a comet burns brightest before it dies. Vanessa burned bright in life and continues to burn at her brightest in Heaven. Vanessa was with God when her family learned that she had earned an “A” in math her last semester. Vanessa had NEVER received an “A” in math!


To honor Vanessa’s memory and her giving heart, her loving parents, Jack and Debbie Dunn, and her brother and best friend, John Ryan Dunn, have established this scholarship.

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