Jeannette Brandt Memorial Scholarship Fund #662

To provide an annual scholarship award to encourage and foster study and use of foreign languages with a preference to those studying the French language. The student may be pursuing any college major but must evidence an interest in foreign language.

From the fundholder:

Jeanne Lelay Brandt, 90, always known as Jeannette, died peacefully on Aug. 9, 2012, from complication of Alzheimer’s Disease. Jeannette was born at Morlaix, Finistere, France on Jan. 28, 1922. Both of her parents worked at the French government cigarette plant there. She grew up in Morlaix and was educated at the college Stanislas there. When she graduated she was apprenticed to a designer of ladies hats (ladies wore hats at that time), but hated it, and her career as a hat designer was very brief. She went into office work and eventually became secretary to the general manager of a small Paris firm manufacturing cigarette lighters. On Sept. 25, 1952, she married an American, Ellis N. (Ned) Brandt, an employee of the U.S. embassy in Paris, he having obtained the formal approval of the U.S. Secretary of State to do so. (Employees of the State Department had to have the approval of the Secretary of State to marry a foreign national). In October 1953, she came to Midland with her husband who took up a position with the Dow Chemical Co. She became a U.S. citizen in 1958. In Midland she became one of the city’s leading tutors and teachers of the French language. Her clientele consisted largely of Dow executives, who were increasingly interested in French as the company became an international firm with offices with offices in a number of francophone countries.

Jeannette also engaged in various community services activities, especially for the Midland Hospital. For many years she picked up patients with appointments at the hospital and returned them to their homes, a type of activity that is no longer allowed to volunteers. She had a certain renown as a master of French cookery, and had serious offers to “go commercial” one of her specialties, a Christmas pastry called a Yule log, but chose not to go that route.

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