I often examine new databases, archives and other resources. Some time back, I encountered a news clip about old Utah newspapers going online. I logged on to check it out. The newspaper name and other details I don't remember. The newspapers were from the 1800s.

I was primarily interested in the search interface and how things were set up. This is something librarians' find fascinating.  I brought up a random newspaper front page to see how viewable it was. A small article caught my eye.

The article was a criticism of people who had abused the Perpetual Emigration Fund.

Wagon breakdowns on the trail had revealed valuables that, if sold, could have paid for the trip out west instead of using P.E.F.  funds. Or, valuables suddenly emerged after arrival in the Salt Lake Valley that clearly existed before the trek was made, proving the owners did have means to fund their their own journey

Although initially surprised, further reflection suggests I shouldn't have been. Human nature being what it is, these sorts of abuses were just as likely then as they are now.

Is it sufficient to condemn the program? Of course not. Undoubtedly there will be abuses of our modern day Perpetual Education Fund just as there were abuses of the old Perpetual Emigration Fund. I hope leaders will err on the side of caution and fund some questionable cases rather than deny them and risk committing an injustice.

My father's track scholarship pulled my family out of poverty as well as future generations. It resulted in five Bachelor's degrees, three Master's degrees and one Ph.d. amongst my siblings and myself. I understand the importance of funding education. Whatever, Idaho State University spent on my father has reaped numerous dividends.

A small minority of people will abuse the best of programs. Of all the grants, loans, scholarships and other funding schemes for higher education I'm aware of I cannot imagine anything structured better than The Perpetual Education Fund.

I say, live long and prosper.

Read this article about the program's recent milestones.

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