Julia Bransby Knowlton Scholarship
Criteria: (Amount Equal to One Full Annual Tuition Award) The Julia Bransby Knowlton Scholarship will be awarded to a female, first preference to a major in the Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in Theater.
Julia Bransby Knowlton was a film editor, teacher, and amateur actor and director. The highlight of her career was working on the 1957 Academy Award-winning documentary “Albert Schweitzer.” Julia studied the performing arts at the Comnock School of Expression in Los Angeles and performed in and directed theater productions in Los Angeles, San Diego and Wilton, Connecticut. This scholarship was established in her memory by her granddaughter Heidi Knowlton and Heidi’s husband, Raja Mukherjee.
Julia Rosalind Bransby was born in 1904 in Los Angeles long before it became known for its movie stars. At Imperial Valley High School, she was active in drama and the school newspaper. She met and married her husband, Murray Knowlton, while both were performing with a theater group in 1926. They later moved to New England with their two sons during the Second World War. While the family lived in Connecticut, Julia commuted to New York City, first to work with her brother John Bransby on film and television productions, and later with filmmaker Jerome Hill as a director and film editor. It was with Jerome Hill that she had the opportunity of a lifetime, to travel to Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s hospital in Lambarene, Gabon to make a film about the Nobel Peace Prize winner. As well as helping the company film his activities as a medical missionary in Africa, she also traveled to Europe to cover Dr. Schweitzer’s roots and his activities as a leading interpreter of the organ music of Bach.
For half of each year, Jerome Hill took his entire company to Cassis in the French Riviera. Julia became fluent in French, something she kept up with after retirement when she moved back to the place she loved best, southern California. She remained active, taking oil painting classes and swimming laps in the pool daily well into her 80s. Julia died in 2007 at the age of 103.