Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Alton H. Conn, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 13, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

“Alton was more than a classmate and a great friend, he was my ‘brother,’ for we served together in the Marine Corps, later reconnecting in Vietnam in 1968,” Rick Taylor explains of his desire to honor his longtime friend’s memory. 

“When I learned of Alton’s death, I immediately contacted his widow, Barbara, and asked if I could start a scholarship in his name. She gave me her blessings, and I am proud to do this in Alton’s name and for his family,” Rick states.

Alton Conn was born in Providence, later moved to North Kingstown with his family, and graduated from North Kingstown High School in 1965. It was there that Rick says he and Alton became acquainted.

They later both joined the Marine Corps, with their service including tours in Vietnam. Rick says, “We made certain promises to each other if we were fortunate enough to survive. First, we agreed that we would look after each other’s family should anything tragic happen to either one of us. He served the Marines proudly, maintaining the highest traditions of the Marines. The second promise we made was to attend the Rhode Island State Police Academy.”

A resident of North Woodstock, NH, at the time of his death, Alton previously lived in Jamestown. His January 25, 2018 obituary in the Jamestown Press states, “Mr. Conn began his career in law enforcement for the Rhode Island State Police, class of 1971, where he served for 21 years before becoming the chief of police for the Town of Tiverton, retiring after four years.”

The obituary continues, “He enjoyed skiing with his family and had worked for the ski patrol at Loon Mountain; he was also an avid golfer.”

In addition to his widow, Barbara, Alton is survived by two children and five grandchildren.

The fund Rick established, the Alton H. Conn, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, is designated for graduating seniors at North Kingstown High School who are pursuing further education in a medical field with a preference for students who demonstrate an interest in cancer research.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Making science come alive Posted last year
    Thanks to our Carter Spark Grant, Narragansett Elementary School students just learned a lot about life around Narragansett Bay. Special education teacher Karen Festa used the grant to bring Save the Bay’s living “Bay Classroom Experience” to school.
  • Roger Williams' ideals come to life in scholarship recipients Posted last year
    The Rhode Island Foundation is sending seven high school seniors off to college with scholarships honoring Roger Williams, the state’s founding father.The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched last year by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Carter fellowships inspire innovation Posted last year
    The recipients will receive $200,000 over four years to test and implement their proposals to dramatically improve life in Rhode Island thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Grants will improve health of RI'ers Posted last year
    Our RIGHA Foundation Fund awards more than $280,000 in grants to promote primary health care.
  • Introducing moves to fuel growth and expansion Posted last year
    We are launching a new grantmaking opportunity, refining our strategic priorities, adopting impact targets and adding new staff positions to support work with partners, donors, nonprofits and community leaders.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up