The Rotch Travelling Scholarship was founded in 1883 with sufficient funds to ensure adequate income each year for young architects to “pursue studies in foreign countries.”
To carry out the purpose of the Trust, the Rotch Trustees asked the Boston Society of Architects to appoint a committee to advise and “develop a scheme of examinations… which shall annually secure… the candidate who is best fitted for the advantages which it is the purpose of this endowment to offer.” The Society agreed and has continued its assistance through its Rotch Scholarship Committee.
The Rotch Scholarship is the oldest of its kind in the United States and its influence has been felt throughout the entire profession in America. The roster of Rotch Scholars includes many of the country’s most distinguished architects – Henry Bacon, Ralph Walker, Wallace Harrison, Louis Skidmore, Edward D. Stone, Gordon Bunshaft, Victor Lundy and many others. The opportunity for study and travel provided by the Rotch Scholarship has loomed large in the minds of the Scholars as a major element in their development and subsequent achievement.
The Rotch Committee and Trustees hold periodic dinner meetings of Scholarship recipients.