John L. Dales Scholarships

The John L. Dales Scholarship Fund was created in 1973 in honor of the Screen Actors Guild’s longtime Executive Secretary.  Throughout its distinguished history, the Dales Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $6 million dollars in scholarships to more than 1,632 SAG-AFTRA members and their children for study at accredited institutions of higher education.

The number and amount of the awards to be given are determined annually.  There are two types of scholarships:  Standard scholarships are for eligible members and children of eligible members for college education.  Transitional scholarships are designed to assist experienced SAG-AFTRA members who need further education to change careers, and require financial assistance to obtain it.

The Dales scholarships apply only to accredited and licensed universities, colleges, junior colleges, adult specialty schools or trade/vocational schools.  Past recipients have started their own successful businesses. The SAG Foundation is proud that many recipients of the John L. Dales scholarships have risen to leadership positions in the entertainment industry.

The 2014 John Dales Scholarship Competition is now closed.

The 2015 applications will be available online on November 1st.


About John L. Dales

John L. Dales attended Stanford University and worked as a lawyer in his native Los Angeles before joining the staff of the Screen Actors Guild as its resident counsel in 1937. He served as the Guild’s Executive Secretary from 1943 to 1973, and helped to usher in a period of labor reforms that continue to benefit performers to this day. Initially, Dales was involved in enforcing the rules governing various SAG contracts; however, he became increasingly involved in negotiations for improved working conditions for background performers, and the formulation of agency regulations.

With the emergence of the television industry as a new source of employment for performers, Dales was instrumental in expanding the SAG’s jurisdiction by helping to institute a new contract to cover the then nascent TV commercial industry. His steadfast strategies, along with a principled belief that union members deserved greater respect, led to a series of concessions from the major movie studios that provided increased security and compensation for working actors.

During his tenure, John L. Dales served as chief negotiator throughout the presidencies of several high profile members including Ronald Reagan and Charlton Heston. After retiring from the Guild, Dales served as president of the Motion Picture and Television Fund from 1980 to 1988.