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Aidan Reiss receives inaugural Yaps Memorial Scholarship

Published on September 06, 2023

Aidan Reiss receives inaugural Yaps Memorial Scholarship

Yaps recipient and administrators
Provost Bill Salka, Dean of Arts and Sciences Emily Todd, Aidan Reiss '26 and Professor Anthony Cornicello gather to celebrate the inaugural Yaps Memorial Scholarship. 

Music major Aidan Reiss ’26 of Stafford Springs is the first-ever recipient of the Wendy (Taylor) and Everett W. Yaps Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which was funded through a historic gift upwards of $500,000 from the Everett W. Yaps estate. The ECSU Foundation reports the gift as one of the largest in Eastern’s history, and will support students who have demonstrated a commitment to the study and performance of classical music. The inaugural scholarship presentation occurred Sept. 1 in the Fine Arts Instructional Center.

Yaps, who passed away in 2020, joined his wife Wendy (Taylor) Yaps ’85, ’87 in wanting to support music students at Eastern. Wendy graduated from Eastern at the age of 57 with a degree in business administration, later earning a second bachelor’s degree in music in 1987. She taught accounting for many years at Manchester Community College and passed away in 2012.

Everett Yaps

Wendy Yaps '85, '87

“I am absolutely honored to have been recognized and chosen as the first recipient of the Yaps endowed scholarship,” said Reiss. “To have my accomplishments, dreams, progress and practice pay off in such a manner, and to be recognized not only by my inspiring professors, but by Eastern as well, is an honor I had truly not anticipated. I owe a debt of gratitude to my professors, fellow music students, and the Everett Yaps Estate for their confidence and support in my prior and continuing work here at Eastern.”

“This award will have a tremendous impact on Eastern’s Music program,” said Anthony Cornicello, chair of the Department of Music. “Personally, I was astounded when news of this came to me. It is wonderful to have a merit-based award for our students in the Performance Concentration. Our plan for the future is to offer this award to outstanding incoming students to draw them to Eastern, with the knowledge that this scholarship will help them throughout their four years at Eastern.”

Written by Ed Osborn