About us

The Silas C. Beers Charitable Trust, also known as Housatonic Valley Institute (HVI) was established in 1925 and has been quietly assisting Cornwall residents achieve their higher education goals for the past century.  HVI was restructured in 2021-2022 to expand the ways in which it supports education.  Scholarship and Grant opportunities are described below, with links to the applications. 

Questions may be sent to: hvicharitabletrust@gmail.com

Applications should be mailed to:

Housatonic Valley Institute
P.O. Box 74
Cornwall, CT  06753         

Scholarships are available to individuals who have been Cornwall Residents for at least the past two years.  When applying for any scholarships related to college courses or technical training institutes, proof of enrollment must also be provided prior to receiving the scholarship.

Proof of Enrollment

Higher Education Scholarships to High School Graduates

Currently, HVI is providing scholarships of $7,000 for the first year and $2,000 for each subsequent year for students entering a 2-year college, 4-year college, or technical training institute.  The application deadline is May 15 of your senior year, and May 15 for each continuing year.

College and Higher Education Scholarship Application

High School Student Program Scholarships

HVI provides up to $2000 to high school students participating in education programs that help students learn about a specialized area of study related to possible future career interests.  Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year.

High School Education Program Scholarship Application

Adult Education Scholarships

Adults seeking further education through courses or training programs may apply for a scholarship up to $2000.  Applications may be submitted anytime throughout the year.

Adult Education Program Scholarship Application

Educator and Education Facility Grants

In the past, almost all support from HVI was toward high school graduates.  A new category provides grants to Cornwall educators and facilities to support the PreK-8 education programs in our town. 

Cornwall Educator Grants

History of the Silas C Beers Charitable Trust and Housatonic Valley Institute (HVI) in Cornwall

The Housatonic Valley Institute Trust was established under the terms of the Last Will and Testament of Silas C. Beers of Cornwall, Connecticut, who died March 31, 1892, to ‘continue, or Establish, and maintain . . . a boarding school for young ladies, and a day school for boys and girls.” Like his brother, John W. Beers, he was greatly interested in education in Cornwall.  The Housatonic Valley Institute was established, along with a fund to maintain the building, grounds and school expenditures.

Unfortunately, the expenses were greater than the endowment allowed and the school was eventually closed. In June, 1925, the Superior Court for Litchfield County authorized the Trustees to sell the land and buildings and to use the income in aiding from time to time existing and future school facilities of the Town of Cornwall through the establishment of scholarships or in any other way that the Trustees might deem best.

One hundred years later, the charitable trust continues to support education in Cornwall through higher education scholarships to high school students and adults, and grants for Cornwall educators.