Carlsbad, Calif.–The Gemological Institute of America has announced the addition of a new scholarship to its already robust program.
This year marks the start of the Charles and Erna Leutwyler Memorial Scholarship, funded by a bequest of close to $500,000 from the estate of the couple, who were GIA alumni.
The scholarship will provide $18,000 annually to one student toward their on-campus completion of a Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Jeweler or Jewelry Design & Technology program of study in the United States.
Charles and Erna Leutwyler were the owners of Charles Leutwyler Jewelers in Austin, Texas for more than 20 years.
Charles was a fifth-generation jeweler and loved technology and learning. At one point, he was invited to photograph the Hope Diamond, using techniques he invented to take microscopic pictures of stones that captured their internal structures and inclusions.
Both Charles and Erna took numerous courses at the GIA to stay up-to-date with diamond-grading practices.
“We are pleased that GIA can honor the Leutwylers, their dedication to learning and their spirit of giving through this memorial scholarship,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
The GIA will offer a total of $2 million in scholarships this calendar year to its students.
Over the past eight years, the institute has awarded $8 million worth of scholarships for both on-campus classes across all of its worldwide locations and e-learning courses.
Both the GIA Endowment Fund and private donors fund the scholarships.
The period to apply for 2018 scholarships begins Feb. 1 and closes March 31.