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Michael Colby Art Scholarship Recipient - 2016   

  Elizabeth Strauss

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Gale Brunault and this is my husband Brian. We are here tonight to present the second annual Michael Colby Art Scholarship Award. A 2001 graduate of NHS, Michael, my only child, passed away on June 9, 2014. We are awarding this scholarship to preserve Michael’s legacy and honor his vast love for the arts.

Soon after receiving a degree in Motion Graphic Design and Animation, Michael’s impeccable talent quickly grabbed the attention of popular advertising businesses. Before long he was participating in music videos, animation work on widespread networks, photography and entrepreneurship; I guess you could say that Michael did it all. Even his sense of humor was outstanding. He not only had the ear for timing and rhythm, but through Michael’s skills and imagination, he starred in and produced an assortment of comedic videos. Thanks to the social media sharing service known as VINE, Michael’s video’s provided hours of entertainment for thousands of people across the country. 


Like most artists, Michael was a sensitive individual with a kind hearted spirit.  He was most at peace when doing what he loved; creating art. Michael also adored his family and friends. He valued that connection with loved ones and took great pride in his roots. When I began this journey of establishing the Michael Colby Art Scholarship, it was extremely important to me, family, friends, and the amazing scholarship committee, that applicants have an understanding of the person Michael was.

Last year Jacob Fisher was the first to receive this award. Today he is considered part of the “Scholarship” family. Recently Jacob had this to say, “Receiving the Michael Colby Art Scholarship became much more than just a sum of money. This scholarship was a gateway to a relationship with some of the strongest parents I have ever met and I have gained a lifelong inspiration as I learned of Michael’s achievements, artistic ability and personality.”


When searching for the right candidate, the one who most echoes Michael’s artistic style and personal attributes, I needed to step back and ask myself, “What would Michael do?” No doubt he would have recognized that every applicant fully demonstrated their creative talent in the arts.

The recipient of this year’s $2,000 Michael Colby Art Scholarship Award goes to a young individual, who is not only talented, dedicated and committed to the arts, but shows great humility in the journey to better oneself. With a strong desire to learn new things, this individual spent numerous hours volunteering at various venues all in an effort to elevate her work in photography. She brilliantly used the advice, feedback and past lessons of other artists, to develop a more polished set of photography skills and techniques.  

Her work ethic is flawless, her achievements impressive. Yet it is her photography that moved me to tears. Between her black and white and colored photo’s, each one told a story; each one spoke to my emotions; and each one resonated with Michael’s love of photography.

It is said that nothing really dies when you pass it onto others.  It is my pleasure to present the second annual Michael Colby Art Scholarship award in the amount of $2000, to Elizabeth Strauss.

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