History of the Wallach Family Military Scholarship

Deep, life-long gratitude to The Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.) is only one reason why Marshall Wallach ’61 made a generous gift of $1.2 million to endow the Wallach Family Military Scholarship.
Marshall also was motivated by his patriotism; by a desire to increase understanding between the civilian and military sectors of U.S. society; and by his belief that students who have been exposed to the life-broadening experience of growing up as the children of career officers will enrich the entire Hill community.

Marshall was joined in making the gift by his wife, Diane, and sons, Marshall ’05, Forbes ’07, and Clark.
Amelia Sniffin ’19 arrived at The Hill in the fall of 2016 as the first Wallach Family Military Scholarship recipient. Amelia’s father, Colonel Peter Sniffin, is a member of The Hill School class of 1981 and a Chaplain in the U.S. Army. Amelia, now a fifth former (junior), grew up hearing about The Hill and dreamed of being at student at her father’s alma mater. However, it was not within her family’s reach until they heard about the Wallach Family Military Scholarship.

“I am so grateful for the Wallach Family Military Scholarship,” remarked Amelia. “Hill never would have been an option without it. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to apply for this scholarship to do so.” 

The Wallachs’ benevolence funds an annual need-based scholarship that can cover up to 100 percent of each student recipient’s demonstrated need. The Wallach Family Military Scholarship is intended for a highly qualified student who is the child of an active duty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces and whose family has demonstrated financial need.

A self-described “Army brat,” Marshall said his family has long and strong military connections – and, in particular, U.S. Army Cavalry connections. His father had a 30-year military career; he served under General George S. Patton in World War II and taught on the faculty of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Marshall and his brother served in Vietnam, and their grandfather also was career Army. Marshall served three years in the U.S. Army as an officer, including one year in Vietnam.

Similarly, Amelia’s father, Colonel Sniffin, has served in the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years. He recently moved from South Carolina and accepted a position at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., bringing the Sniffin family closer to Pottstown and The Hill School.

“The Wallach Family Military Scholarship is a way for me to give back to The Hill and to help another military family provide a Hill education to their son or daughter,” said Marshall, an Honorary Hill Trustee.

Finding Stability at The Family Boarding School

Marshall attended 14 schools before landing at The Hill as a fifth form student on financial aid.

Like Marshall, Amelia knows the challenges of moving frequently, as she has lived in five different states and spent more than four years in Germany.

“I’ve never been at one school for three years,” remarked Amelia. “Having the opportunity to attend The Hill School for three years and make friendships that I know will last a lifetime is a blessing.”

Knowing she won’t have to leave after a year has allowed Amelia to become more involved in The Hill community. She is a freshman prefect in Dell Dormitory; a member of the varsity girls’ basketball team; and a volunteer at the local Boys’ and Girls’ club.

“We really are fortunate to have Amelia as the first Wallach Family Military Scholar and she has made a great impact on our school community,” remarked Assistant Headmaster for Enrollment Management Tom Eccleston ’87.

“Amelia personifies everything we look for in a Hill student. She’s hard-working, an exceptional student, a committed athlete, an encouraging leader, and a genuinely nice person.”

Marshall credits Hill with providing the rigorous academic discipline he needed to succeed both at Dartmouth and at Harvard, where he earned his M.B.A. Marshall hopes The Hill experience will be pivotal to each Scholarship recipient’s life. He plans to get to know all recipients through occasional visits for lunch or dinner and through personal correspondence.

And, just as he has hoped, Amelia and Marshall, of Denver, Colo., have established a personal connection. The two have had the opportunity to meet and enjoy lunch together. 

“It’s really cool to have a connection with Mr. Wallach,” Amelia said. “We email each other and share updates on our lives.”

“I am excited about inspiring other students through the Scholarship,” said Marshall, the president of Wallach Capital Advisors and director of a number of for profit and nonprofit boards.

Marshall’s generosity certainly has inspired Amelia. As she looks forward to her future, she is considering colleges that might not have been on her list had she not attended The Hill. She hopes to pursue a journalism career after “falling in love with the subject” during her fourth form Journalism class at Hill.

Amelia has found her “home” here at The Hill School among her tight-knit group of friends, teammates, supportive teachers, and caring dorm parents.

“Hill calls itself the ‘Family Boarding School’ and that is true,” said Amelia. “These people truly are my family.

Qualifications of the Wallach Family Military Scholarship

The Scholarship may cover room, board, tuition, books, academic-related travel expenses such as those incurred for experiential learning opportunities, and other required educational costs such as computer purchases. At least one parent of each Military Scholarship student must be an active duty commissioned officer with not less than 10 years of continuous active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy. However, the 10-year minimum can be waived if the student’s parent died in the line of duty. The student is qualified to receive the Wallach Family Military Scholarship throughout his or her years of study at The Hill if certain criteria are met annually.

The Hill School is urging alumni, parents, and friends to help spread the word about this distinctive opportunity. Community members who know military families or who have helpful contacts through the U.S. Military network are urged to share such information with Tom Eccleston IV ’87, Hill’s assistant headmaster for enrollment management, at Tom also can answer specific questions regarding student and family qualification and selection guidelines. Additional information also appears here. The application deadline is January 31.