The McKee Scholarships had their genesis under the Will of John McKee dated December 8, 1899. Pursuant to the Will, Colonel John McKee (who died April 6, 1902) gave the residue of his estate to the “head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia” and his successors, for the erection of a college, with emphasis on nautical training, conforming to certain requirements detailed in the Will. After years of litigation, it was determined that the estate, though significant, was inadequate to establish a nautical school in accordance with the terms of the Will.
Since the charitable purposes of the Will could not be fulfilled exactly as envisioned by Colonel McKee, the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Orphans’ Court Division, determined that the estate should be used in a manner that most closely approximates his charitable purposes. Pursuant to Adjudication of Judge Bolger, dated February 25, 1952, the Court awarded the fund cy pres, with income to be used for a scholarship fund under the conditions set forth in the Adjudication. The Estate of John McKee is being administered as a Pennsylvania charitable trust.
A committee of distinguished citizens was chosen by the Court to administer the selection process (the “McKee Scholarship Committee”). Through these scholarships, The McKee Scholarships have aided numerous fatherless young men by providing them the means to pursue post-secondary education and, in this way, honor the charitable intent of the Colonel McKee.
A monument to Colonel John McKee and his wife, Emeline, was dedicated at Eden Cemetry on September 9, 2012 (bellow).