Fund Highlight: Philip A. DeLise Memorial Scholarship Fund

To help Branford High School (BHS) graduates continue their education, BCF’s Philip A. DeLise Memorial Scholarship was founded in 2016. Phil’s daughter, Mary Beth (DeLise) DeLucia, says her father would be pleased.

“He was very civic-minded and loved Branford. That goes along with what the Foundation does.”

Phil established BHS’s Vocational Education program in 1965 and was BHS principal when he retired in 1999. A Branford Education Hall of Famer, Branford Citizen of the Year and chair of Branford’s 350th Anniversary Celebration, Phil supported numerous charitable, professional and community service organizations.

“I think Branford meant the world to him,” says Mary Beth. “When we first moved to Branford, the purpose of his position was to match students with businesses. Through that, he became very connected with business and town leaders. It gave him a great sense of the community.”

A U.S. Air Force veteran (Korean War), Phil first worked as electrician and salesman. Inspired to teach, he earned his academic degrees on the GI Bill.

“He truly believed everyone had a niche, whether it was a trade, the Armed Services or college,” says Mary Beth. “I think that allowed him to be able to relate to all types of people. At his wake, I just marveled at all the people who stood in line. So many said, ‘You don’t know how your father inspired me.’ This is the perfect way for us to honor him. The foundation supports so many different aspects of Branford. There are so many worthy programs that need the foundation’s help.”