Since 1986 the Rotary Club of Capitola-Aptos has awarded an annual fellowship established by Vera Piatt to fulfill the vision of her late husband, long-time club member Henry Piatt. The fellowship is awarded annually to a graduate from a public high school in Santa Cruz County to support a full-time student candidate for a graduate degree in science technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) at a University of California campus. In 2020-21, the award was $15,000. The annual presentation to the Club by the Piatt Fellow is one of the highlights of the Club year.
About Henry & Vera Piatt
Vera Piatt was born in Iowa in 1907. Henry was born a bit earlier in Missouri.
Henry was traveling the world with the U.S. Navy in the late 1920s when he was stricken with tuberculosis. He was hospitalized for treatment in a Colorado military facility where Vera was a nurse. They fell in love. When Henry recovered, Vera resigned her commission and they married. They moved to Sacramento, where Henry first joined Rotary. Henry thrived on Rotary’s “Service Above Self” philosophy.
In 1965, Henry and Vera relocated to Aptos and Henry joined our Club (then the Rotary Club of Soquel). Henry remained a member until his death in 1984. His personable soft-spoken manner combined with vision and common sense made him a popular Rotarian and accounting for his long service as Club Secretary where he guided many club Presidents during the 70s and 80s.
During his life, Henry envisioned a fellowship program that our Club would administer for the benefit of the young people in our community. When asked why a graduate fellowship? Henry replied, “I want to fund our community’s best and brightest!”
Vera passed in 2007.