Cornwall Native Challenges Community

Beth and Jim Duff
Beth and Jim Duff

The Cornwall Central High School Scholar’s Fund was established in 2013 by Cornwall native Jim Duff, Class of 1966. Jim created the fund at his alma mater to recognize three top scholars in the graduating class. Jim challenges the community to help “grow” the Cornwall Central High School Scholar’s Fund by matching donations made by other citizens, up to $10,000 annually until 2017. This will grow the scholarship amount in future years.

The overall top scholar in the graduating class, along with two separately identified students, who are the top math and science scholars, will each receive a $1,000 scholarship every year. The focus is on students who have challenged themselves with a rigorous class load and who have performed at the highest level of achievement.

After his graduation from Cornwall Central High School and his parents’ retirement to Florida, Jim moved away. He has lived in many areas of the United States, and has traveled extensively including every state and continent except Antarctica, but he has never forgotten his Cornwall roots. He was the youngest of six children, all of whom became successful and accomplished professionals. Jim himself retired from a high-level position with the Department of Interior. However, Jim credits his wife, Beth, who passed away in 2010 as his inspiration for his philanthropy and the creation of the Cornwall Central High School Scholar’s Fund, one of many educational projects he has funded throughout the world.

Beth was active as a community volunteer and championed many causes including their church, missions, and people in need. “One of my wife’s final comments as she waged her courageous battle with cancer was, “I thought I’d have more time,” Jim said. Jim resolved to use the time he has to address charitable causes that are important to him, including this legacy for academically accomplished students graduating from Cornwall Central High School. “They no doubt will make this world a better place because they have challenged themselves and succeeded academically,” added Jim.

The Cornwall Central High School Scholar’s Fund is a component charitable fund of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, a 501(c)(3) public charity that was created to help individuals, organizations, and businesses establish charitable endowment funds to benefit their community. To create your own charitable endowment, to make a contribution to this scholarship fund, or to add to an existing named endowment fund, please contact the Community Foundation, Karen Minogue, at (845) 769-9393, e-mail, or visit

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