PARK HILLS — Several students at Mineral Area College will soon benefit from new scholarships being made available, thanks to the careful estate planning of two local women, as well as significant contributions from individuals and businesses.
Development and Alumni Director Julia Dill said generous gifts from alumni and friends have made the holiday season brighter for many students and families. Four new scholarship funds have been created, and existing funds have grown because of the scholarship gifts, which combined, amounted to almost $100,000.
The Viola Jo Elvins Memorial Scholarship Fund was established through a $10,000 gift from the estate of Viola Elvins. The fund will award a $500 scholarship each semester to a full-time, degree-seeking student with preference given to students majoring in education. Dill said Elvins was a lifelong advocate of learning throughout her 99 years of life.
Her college path began at MAC’s predecessor, Flat River Junior College, and culminated when she received a bachelor’s degree from Washington University. She taught second and third grades for 20 years at Elvins Elementary in the Central School District.
Dill said church and civic involvement were also Elvins’s priorities, as she was a member of the United Methodist Church of Park Hills and the P.E.O. Sisterhood for 50 years. She remained connected with education through the Retired Teachers of St. Francois County organization, and was a lifetime member of United Methodist Women.
Another gift to the foundation, a generous $73,000 gift from the estate of the late June McCord, established The Charles L. & Velma June McCord Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. Designed for longevity, 100 percent of the fund’s investment earnings will help students with scholarships.
Dill said that during McCord’s 81 years she attended campus events, was a regular at MAC Foundation’s annual Community Ladies Luncheon, and was a generous donor. “She was very active in the First Baptist Church of Bonne Terre where she served many years as secretary, taught Bible school and sang in the choir,” Dill said. “She was inspired by young people and took an interest in the college students.”
A third gift to the foundation was an anonymously-given $10,000 to establish both a civil engineering scholarship as well as an art scholarship. Each fund will award a $500 scholarship per semester to a full-time, degree-seeking student.
“Not only will students have access to four new scholarship funds, the public has also made a significant impact to existing funds, with over $4,500 in gifts designated for the MAC Foundation General Scholarship, the Wesley A. Deneke Memorial Scholarship, the Beulah M. Gray Memorial Endowed Scholarship, and the Trimfoot Company/Marion L. Goetz Scholarship,” Dill said.
“Our No. 1 goal is student success, and these donations are critical to providing educational opportunities to more students. Thanks to these new scholarships, many students will be able to achieve their educational dreams who might otherwise not have been able to. Some students work multiple jobs to afford school. It’s extremely likely that these scholarships will prevent some from having to drop out, take on another job, or apply for costly loans.”
Dill said she and the members of the Mineral Area College Foundation Board are “deeply grateful” for the dedication of the college’s alumni and friends.
“As MAC students strive toward rewarding careers, their support plays a huge role in supporting strong families, prosperous communities and bright futures,” she said. “MAC Foundation is deeply grateful for the families and business in our community who are dedicated to improving lives by making a high-quality education available for all.”
Those wishing to help students with scholarships may contact Julia Dill at (573) 518-2114 or visit www.MineralArea.edu/IGive. Students may apply for scholarships by ensuring current Financial Aid paperwork is on fine with MAC’s office of Financial Aid.