Music by Daniel Dombrowsky
For Rebecca Cook Davis, Maggie Moore, Meredith Moore, Madeline Palmieri, and Miriam Ann McLean, B.A. Rudolph was an intensity that was part of their lives from the day they were born. B.A. taught them to be strong women, grounded by the friends and family they surround themselves with. She taught them the importance of values, forward thinking, independence, and especially laughter. Through the B.A. Rudolph Foundation, they seek to serve a similar role in the lives of other women.
Before her passing in September 2011, and as a lasting tribute to her parents and the values they imparted to her, B.A. instructed these five young women to create and direct a charitable foundation aimed at supporting young women who themselves seek to make a difference in the world. The B.A. Rudolph Foundation’s mission champions the educational and professional development of women for whom a small amount of support could make a significant difference. The B.A. Rudolph Foundation gained 501(c)3 status in December 2011.
The Foundation’s first initiative was the DC Summer Intern Scholarship, supporting undergraduate women seeking unpaid, public service internships in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The practical purpose of the scholarship was to offset the cost of living in Washington for dedicated students for whom it would be otherwise difficult to afford such an opportunity. Additionally, women were offered a mentor in their field and points of contact for further networking opportunities.
Beginning in 2015, the scope of the Foundation’s support broadened to include two additional scholarships for interns, and its first academic scholarship. The DC Summer Intern Scholarship was renamed the Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship, to allow for the creation of the Graduate Public Service Scholarship. Both were offered exclusively to women interning in the Washington area, but allowed students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to benefit from financial support, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship, also created in 2015, offered support to undergraduate women seeking internships in the sciences. Unlike the Public Service Scholarship, internship locations were not limited to the Washington area, but could take place anywhere in the United States.
Announced in February 2015, the B.A. Rudolph Scholarship at the University of Arkansas’s Clinton School of Public Service honors not only B.A., but her commitment to her alma mater and her years of service to President Bill Clinton. Each year, the $12,000 scholarship supports one female second-year student completing her Masters in Public Service, by providing full tuition for that year as well as additional funds for living and professional expenses. The B.A. Rudolph Scholarship at the University of Arkansas’s Clinton School of Public Service continues to support women to this day.
In 2019, the B.A. Rudolph Foundation replaced the three existing summer scholarships with the EmpowHER Initiative– an application-based, 8-week intensive summer program in Washington, D.C. designed for progressive women. EmpowHER helps participants, who already have Washington, D.C.-based internships, prepare for and succeed in their positions—and help to launch their careers. And (perhaps most importantly), EmpowHER invites participants into a lifelong network of supportive BA Women—the ultimate feminist girl gang.
The current Board of Directors consists of Maggie Moore, Meredith Moore, Rebecca Cook Davis, and Madeline Palmieri. At age 21, Miriam Ann McLean will join them. Each of these women was raised in and around Washington, DC.