Cal Poly

Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship

Patrick and Eileen Smyth, from County Monaghan and County Cork, Ireland respectively, along with their son Brian, immigrated to the United States in the mid-1950’s. After attending high school, college, and graduate school in Ohio, and after serving in the US Army, Brian Smyth moved to California in the early 1970’s where he had a successful career in Information Technology management.

In the 1990’s, Brian’s daughter Courtney was admitted to and enrolled at Cal Poly SLO. Sadly, Courtney died in 1999 at age 21, a quarter short of her Cal Poly graduation. Brian established the Courtney Elizabeth Smyth Endowed Scholarship in memory of his daughter in 2000, which supports students who have overcome personal tragedy, adversity, or hardship and have succeeded in pursuing their academic goals.

During her college years, Courtney began to take an interest in Irish literature, culture, and history, and one of Brian’s major regrets is that he postponed the opportunity to take his daughter back to visit Ireland, the home of her grandparents. Brian has always been grateful for the decision his parents took to risk everything to immigrate to the US and thus to provide their son with opportunities in the US that he does not believe would have been available to him if they had remained in Ireland. As such, Brian would like to honor his parents and “complete the circle” by establishing the Patrick and Eileen Smyth Endowed Scholarship, with the purpose of alternately 1) fulfilling the missed opportunity with Courtney by providing financial assistance for a Cal Poly student to immerse themselves in the literature, culture, and history of Ireland attending an accredited institution in either the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland and/or the six counties of Northern Ireland; and 2) providing financial assistance for an Irish national student to attend Cal Poly SLO so as to experience the love that Courtney had for Cal Poly, SLO, and the sunshine of the California Coast and the opportunities in the USA that the Smyth family benefited from.

Back to top


The scholarship is open to all eligible applicants, subject to the following criteria:

  • Open to Cal Poly students intending to participate in a Cal Poly affiliated for-credit Study Abroad Program located in any of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and/or the six counties of Northern Ireland
  • Open to Cal Poly international students intending to attend Cal Poly who are Irish Nationals. Preference will be given to Irish students who are traveling abroad to study at Cal Poly (rather than already living in the U.S.)
  • Preference is for students who are studying abroad on an immersive program. This may include those studying abroad for a longer period of time, or those involved in a program that is a uniquely immersive Irish experience OR Irish students attending Cal Poly for a quarter, year or to complete their degree
  • The scholarship is not renewable; however, current or past recipients may apply for consideration if they continue to meet scholarship selection criteria
  • The scholarship is open to students in all majors and all class levels
  • Recommended minimum GPA is 3.0
  • Preference is for students with financial need

Back to top

Other Details

Application Deadline: April 30, 2017

Scholarship Award Amount: One annual award of up to $7,500


Back to top

© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Cal Poly International Center
Building 52, Room E32
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-1477
Fax: (805) 756-5484