Sophia N. Hapke Scholarship


Sophia Hapke “wrote the book” on living a multi-dimensional life.

Sophia learned about tragedy at an early age. When she was 8 years old, her parents were killed in an accident. Her uncle sent her to Catholic boarding school. As she grew up, she became devoted to lifelong learning.

Sophia became an elementary school teacher, spending her career in Davenport schools. She also earned while helping people to learn, wrote many “how-to” books – how to sew, how to hang wallpaper, how to garden, and many more.

Using some AT&T stock that she inherited, she and her husband, Fred, learned how to invest wisely. They also learned the art of thriftiness and lived simply as their fortune grew.

When she died in 1982, Sophia had made plans to return good things to the community, and left and estate worth more than half-a-million dollars. Two private foundations were established, one a permanent fund to support Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport and another to provide scholarships to deserving graduates of Davenport schools. Because of the complexities of administering a private foundation, both of them – the Sophia N. Hapke Charitable Fund and the Sophia N. Hapke Scholarship Fund – became funds of the Community Foundation. The funds continue to operate as they did before, but no longer have the burdensome taxes, reporting, and other requirements and restriction of a private foundation. Members of Sophia’s sorority, Delta Kappa Gamma, still awards scholarships each year. Sophia’s private foundations are among more than 40 that have converted to become funds of the Community Foundation in recent years.

Sophia Hapke built a legacy that lives on nearly three decades after she left us. For many decades to come, Sophia will continue to assist young people through the learning phase – helping them achieve their educational goals – so they may also live multidimensional lives as she did. And each year, these students will know who was responsible for the gift – a woman who overcame hardship and loved to learn, love to teach, and loved to give.

"The Foundation ensures that our dollars are used as efficiently as possible."

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