North Clarion Alumni Scholarship Endowment Continuing to Grow
(PICTURED: Jean Kaye and Ken Borland, two members of the Class of 1969, presented a scholarship to Jana Thomas, Class of 2019 Valedictorian.)
NCHS alumnus Dan Gordon initiated the effort two years ago proposing a scholarship to the Valedictorian of the Class of 2021 on the 50th anniversary of his own graduation.
The initial focus has been to raise funds for an endowment managed by the North Clarion Foundation, to provide at least $500.00 for the Valedictorian at North Clarion. The foundation determined it would take at least $12,500.00 to fund the award.
Since it could take time to raise funds for an on-going endowment, Gordon had proposed a series of Challenge Scholarships for the Classes of 1969 through 1972. Each class in that era would directly fund a minimum $500.00 scholarship for their respective 50-year anniversary class. To kick things off, Gordon’s class, the Class of 1971, challenged the Class of 1969 to raise funds for the Class of 2019 Valedictorian scholarship.
According to Gordon, the campaign has been very successful so far. The Class of 1969 raised a $1,000.00 Scholarship for the Class of 2019 Valedictorian, Jana Thomas. The award was presented on May 29 by two members of the Class of 1969, Jean Kaye and Ken Borland.
Gordon told exploreClarion.com the other three classes have also responded enthusiastically with each raising at least $800.00 so far for their challenge Scholarships, and the Class of 1970 is on track to exceed the class of 1969’s contribution for the 2020 Class Valedictorian.
The endowment, which is being funded by the other graduating classes from North Clarion, is currently at 20% of its goal to provide a scholarship starting in 2023. The endowment is being managed through the North Clarion Foundation.
“I have been very proud of the alumni who have responded to help raise funds,” Gordon said.
“There have been a number of alumni who have helped communicate the fundraising effort by either letters, phone conversations, or at class reunions.”
A Facebook page for the North Clarion Alumni Association was also established to help communicate scholarship progress and upcoming reunions.
Gordon noted that one of his fellow members of the Class of 1971, Rick Rathfon, is also in the process of organizing a Golf Tournament on July 13 at the Clarion Oaks Golf course to raise money this summer for the endowment.
Gordon also stated that during the past six months, the organizers have made a change in direction regarding who receives the second tier scholarship once they reach $1,500.00 to award.
After much discussion with local businesses, alumni, and school administration, the organizers have decided to offer the second tier scholarship to the student with the highest grade point average going to a trade or technical school. The first tier scholarship will still go to the Valedictorian.
“We found that there are few scholarship opportunities for graduates going to trade or technical schools,” Gordon said. “The North Clarion Foundation is in the process of changing the scope of the scholarship.”
Following the golf tournament, the next fundraising event will be in the fall with reunions and mailing donation letters.
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