American Numismatic Association awards college scholarships

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) recently awarded college scholarships to Collin J. Dempsey, a homeschool senior in Wilder, Tn., and William E. Cather, a senior at Courtland High School in Fredericksburg, Va.

Each winner received a $1,000 USD scholarship to use toward tuition at an institution of their choice.

“The American Numismatic Association is pleased to be able to offer two college scholarships to deserving numismatists,” said Rod Gillis, ANA education director, when the announcement was made on July 24. “This is an opportunity for the association to expand on its core mission of education through higher learning.”


Dempsey’s collecting interest started when he found a Philippines 1944 twenty-centavos coin in an old army trunk—both of which he still has today. His interest piqued, and he was driven to investigate the coin’s origin. Today, numismatic history is still a main driver for his collecting passion. He’s drawn to 19th-century U.S. coinage and more specifically the Seated Liberty series and Barber coinage.

Dempsey will attend Tennessee Technological University, where he will study mechanical engineering and mechatronics.

“Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me. First and foremost, it’s an honour—it means people believe in me and my ability to advance in life, and they see someone who is responsible and eager to learn,” he said. “Coming from a poor background, this scholarship will also ease the financial strain in my pursuit of a higher education. I won’t have to worry about book costs and tuition this semester. It’s very fulfilling both financially and personally.”

The other scholarship was given to William Cather, of Virginia.


Like many others, Cather became interested in numismatics as a child. His grandmother introduced him to the hobby as they marveled at his grandfather’s coin collection. It sparked his interest and he soon began to build his own collection of the 50 State Quarters Program. His love for the hobby is broad, but the area of numismatics that interests him the most is Boy Scout-related exonumia.

Cather plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he will study astronomy and astrophysics.

“Receiving the ANA YN College Scholarship means a lot to me,” he said. “It shows me that through my coin collecting efforts, I have been recognized for both my volunteerism and dedication to the hobby itself.”

Applications for the 2018 ANA College Scholarship will be available in January. Recipients are selected based on academic scholarship, numismatic accomplishments and financial need. Applicants must be a senior in high school and a member of the ANA.

For more information, contact Gillis via email at or by phone at 719-482-9845.

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