Gustave and Carol Lynn Sirot Scholarship Fund

Est. 1999 by Carol Lynn Sirot to support the Yale University Women's Organization's Scholarship Programs.

A dermatologist and a faculty member at Yale Medical School, Gustave Sirot, MD., was “a giver all his life and an inspiration,” recalls his widow Carol Lynn Sirot. “I was married to a man who cared about my education and my work as an artist; a man who respected women and their education.”

Lonnette Diggs
YUWO Sirot Fund Scholar Lonnette Diggs, May 2020. Photo courtesy of Lonnette Diggs.

Theirs was a love story that began on a first date that stretched on for hours and into a lifetime. A doctor and an artist raising two children, they were deeply engaged in the Yale Community. “We had a wonderful life,” she says. When her husband developed dementia, she cared for him for 14 years until his death.

Choosing to smooth someone’s path in life was a behavior Carol learned from her mother. Her mother, a woman of modest means, “was always doing for other people and I wanted to do the same,” she remembers.

Growing up in Port Chester, New York, then a factory town, Carol worked from the age of 12. When she wanted to study art at Smith College, she understood that it would happen by working and through scholarships “or it wasn’t going to happen at all.” She earned a graduate assistantship at Oberlin College and later studied at Yale with Josef Albers who used some of her work in his groundbreaking work on color.

A member of the Yale University Women’s Organization (YUWO) for more than 50 years, Carol knew that when she established an endowed scholarship fund, it would achieve two objectives: to honor her husband, “the perfect man for me,” she declares; and to provide perpetual support for YUWO scholars. “I want the women who are receiving the scholarship award to also know there is a whole community of women who care about them and about what they have achieved,” she says.

Carol cares deeply about the Fund and making certain that women who have put their college education on hold – often to care for others – have the chance to complete their degrees. “I hope the Fund inspires other people to give,” she says.

The Gustave and Carol Lynn Sirot Scholarship Fund is designated for the Yale University Women's Organization for the sole purpose of awarding scholarships to women who by virtue of their own or their family's affiliation, past or present, are associated with the Yale community, and whose formal education has been interrupted or delayed and who wish to resume their studies, to enhance careers with supplementary courses, or to change careers entirely. Scholarships are awarded to qualified candidates who are 35 years old or older.