The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is an organization dedicated to advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. The Walla Walla Branch of AAUW provides a yearly scholarship to support women who are returning to college or university after an interruption in their education. Past recipients have attended public and private institutions and come from a variety of backgrounds. AAUW believes that education is an important part of establishing equality for women and is paramount to the AAUW mission.
Betty Rae (left) and Luetta Anderson (right) were sisters who were born in Pomeroy, Washington; Luetta in 1923 and Betty Rae in 1928. They moved to Walla Walla in 1933 and attended Green Park Elementary school, eventually graduating from Walla Walla High School. The sisters loved traveling, which took them to Europe, Hawaii and throughout the U.S. They were particularly fond of the Oregon coast. This scholarship is for Walla Walla High School graduates who plan to continue their foreign language education at the college level, particularly for students studying German.
John and Anna Anderson were pioneer farmers in the Eureka Flat area in the late 1800s. Their son, Carl A. Anderson, was born in 1899. He attended local schools, eventually earning his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Washington State College (now University) in 1922. This scholarship is for students attending WSU majoring in agriculture.
Dave and Rosie Archer, both graduates of Dayton High School, married in 1960 in Spokane, Washington. Dave and Rosie returned to Dayton after Dave attended Whitman College and California Polytechnic State University. Together they raised thoroughbred racehorses on their farm on Pataha Creek. Dave passed away in 2009, but Rosie still lives in Dayton and currently serves on the Archer Ranch Scholarship Committee. This scholarship is for graduates of Dayton High School seeking higher education.
Mary Jane Aylward was born on July 24, 1927 in Yakima, Washington, and moved with her family to Walla Walla in 1932. She graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in 1944, where she was class President and Salutatorian. She attended college in Portland and at WSU, from which she graduated in 1948. She married James F. Aylward in 1950. Mary Jane was active in the Washington Association for Mentally Disabled Citizens, serving as chapter president from 1967-1969. This scholarship was created by Mary Jane’s late husband James to benefit students attending Roman Catholic schools in Walla Walla.
Amalia “Molly” Baker was born in Frank, Russia, in 1901. She came with her German family to a farm in Colorado, and went to work in town after completing the 8th grade. Although her parents didn’t feel women would benefit from further education, Molly was a strong advocate for higher education. She worked as a nurse for 35 years and attended night school so that, at the age of 56, she proudly received her LPN certification. Molly’s story inspired her granddaughter, Peggy Baker Mudd, to go into the nursing profession; Peggy is now a school nurse in the Tri-Cities. Molly passed away in 1988 and her family established this scholarship for nursing students at Walla Walla Community College in her honor. This scholarship has been available to second-year students since 1989.
The Bayne Family Scholarship was established to honor the legacy of Scott Bayne, who was active in ASB and student government at Walla Walla High School, along with his siblings Jennifer and Kevin. The award is given to a Walla Walla High School graduate who has demonstrated leadership and involvement in student government, success in the classroom, and has shown concern for their fellow students and the greater community.
Ralph Bennett’s family moved to a farm near Valley Grove, West Virginia, when he was a boy in 1918. He married Mary Ellen Murphy in 1931. After farming the Bennett Farm for 48 years, Ralph and Mary Ellen moved to Walla Walla in 1966. Both of them valued education. This scholarship is for graduates of high schools in Walla Walla County.
This scholarship was created by generous donors in 1978 to support graduates of Kiona-Benton High School.
Ted Berry was the first Emergency Medical Services (EMS) instructor in Eastern Washington. He was among the first paramedics in the state of Washington and the United States. Ted retired in February 1987 after nearly 30 years of service with the Walla Walla Fire Department. He was an honorary member of the Walla Walla Valley Medical Society and also a member of the Washington state Fire Chief’s Association. This scholarship is for graduates of high schools in Walla Walla and Columbia counties wishing to pursue certification in Emergency Medical Services as a First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic.
Dorothy grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Upon moving to Oregon with her husband Ken, Dorothy began working part-time as a nurse in Pendleton. After her children graduated from high school, she began volunteering as a hospice nurse. In 2001, Dorothy was awarded “Citizen of the Year” in Athena, Oregon. Both she and Ken are active members of the Athena community.
David Bjorklund graduated from Weston-McEwen High School in 1984 and went on to graduate from Oregon State University in 1989. David is an avid photographer, and even won “People’s Choice” in a photography contest with the submission of a photograph of Sacred Heart’s old wooden church.
Ken Bjorklund grew up in Minnesota, graduating from Breckenridge High School in 1956. Ken has two degrees, one from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master’s in Education from North Dakota State University (’63). Ken and his wife Dorothy moved to Oregon shortly after their wedding in 1964. In 1986, Ken received the “Citizen of the Year” award in Athena, Oregon.
A 1986 graduate of Weston-McEwen High School in Athena, Paul attended Blue Mountain Community College and graduated from the auto body tech program. Paul became a volunteer firefighter in Athena, Pendleton and Kennewick while working in the auto repair business. In 1992, Paul was tragically killed while fighting a fire in the Jump Off Joe area of Kennewick. This scholarship is for graduates of Weston-McEwen High School who have demonstrated outstanding citizenship.
Earl Blake grew up in Elk, Washington, where he was born in 1906. He attended Eastern Washington University and graduated with a teaching degree. Lucille Heidenriech was born in Farmington, Washington, in 1903, and also attended Eastern Washington University. She began teaching in Pasco, then moved to Walla Walla to continue her career at Green Park Elementary School. She was the Librarian at Pioneer Junior High School, where Earl was the first principal. They married in 1931 in Walla Walla. The Earl & Lucille Blake scholarship is for graduates from high schools in Walla Walla County.
Larry jay Brittain was the oldest of three sons born to Bart & Carolyn Brittain. After graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1970, he continued his education and love of baseball by playing at the collegiate level for Eastern Washington University. After graduating in 1976, he worked in the insurance industry in the Tri-Cities, where he was living when he passed away from an undiagnosed coronary heart disease. Larry’s father encourages all people to watch their cholesterol and blood pressure, and to be aware of the signs of heart disease. This scholarship is to benefit Walla Walla County high school graduates who were active in youth baseball.
Charles Julius Broughton, Jr. (Chad) was raised in Dayton, Washington. Darlene Beckman Broughton was raised in Ely, Nevada and Ogden, Utah. They met in San Francisco in the late 1940s, where some of their first dates included attending ballets and operas. Chad and Darlene made their home in Dayton in the mid-1950s and raised their family. They remained lifelong patrons of the performing, film, literary and fine arts. They supported local arts productions in Dayton and Walla Walla and made frequent sojourns to San Francisco and Seattle to get their fill of world-class offerings. In the 1960s, Chad and Darlene founded the Dayton Film Society and brought foreign films to Dayton with screenings at their home or in a rented meeting room. After Chad’s death in January 2016, his family decided to honor his memory by providing scholarships to students pursuing higher education in the arts they loved and supported.
Robert “Bob” Burgess and Eleanor Anderson were both born on the East Coast in the 1920s. They married on January 11, 1946, shortly after bob finished his service with the U.S. Navy in World War II. Eleanor was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Chemistry. She taught at Walla Walla High School, St. Paul’s Episcopal School for Girls, and Whitman College. Both Bob and Eleanor were tennis coaches; Eleanor at Walla Walla High School and Bob at Whitman College. The Bob & Eleanor Burgess scholarship is for students attending Walla Walla Community College after a break in their academic career.
Howard and Pearl Burgess moved to Walla Walla in 1930 when Howard joined the Extension Service of Washington State University. Howard was a graduate of Washington State College (later University) in 1916, with a degree in general agriculture. He was high point man on the livestock judging team that won the Pacific Coast Conference. This scholarship is for students in Walla Walla County who were active in 4-H.
Merle Burnham grew up in Prosser, Washington, the daughter of William and Pearl Burnham. After high school, she relocated to West Seattle, where she lived with her aunt and uncle. While working in Seattle, Merle met Howard Caulkins and they were married in 1964. Merle worked in the accounting department of Sears & Roebuck for many years until they closed their Seattle office. She then worked for The Salvation Army in West Seattle, a job she held for the rest of her working life. She and Howard were both passionate about the Salvation Army’s mission. After Merle’s death in 2006, Howard continued to volunteer for the organization. Howard passed away in 2014. Together they left their estate to create a scholarship fund for post-high school training and education for graduates of Prosser High School.
In 2003, Clarkston High School class of 1962 created this scholarship fund to help Clarkston High School graduates attending college. This scholarship can be awarded to current or past graduates during their first four years of higher education.
Terry studied Fine Arts at the University of Washington. He enjoyed painting and sculpting and his fountain art can be seen along the waterfront of Seattle and in Portland. Terry passed away in 1996 after a long battle with cancer. Former friend and classmate Mike Repass established this scholarship shortly after Terry’s death. This scholarship is to support students who graduate from Walla Walla High School and plan to major in the visual arts at the college level.
With an infamous football and track career, Bobby Cox graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1953. He first attended the University of Washington on a football scholarship, later transferring to the University of Minnesota where he gained stardom. As quarterback for the Gophers, he was Heisman Trophy runner up to Paul Hornung in 1956. Bobby passed away on October 3, 2003 after a long battle against pancreatic cancer. This scholarship is for graduating high school seniors in Walla Walla County or Milton-Freewater, Oregon of Latino descent.
Born on April 4, 1933, Kenneth Dean graduated from San Jose State College in 1956. Kenneth spent a decade in various sales positions for three different Fortune 500 companies. The next 18 years of his life, he helped transform failing divisions of major corporations, such as Kraft Foods and Conrail. Kenneth was also an instructor at various workshops relating to business finance, operations, administration and business plan development. The Kenneth M. Dean-Quixote Fund is for students who have graduated with an Associates of Arts degree from Walla Walla Community College and who are continuing their education to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or Accounting.
Ben Dickinson was a truly compassionate, self-made man, who had a fierce loyalty to his community. He was born and raised in Starbuck, Washington, and lived life to its fullest in Dayton until he passed in 1988 at the age of 70. In 1942, Ben joined the Army and became a tank driver and officer. After the war, he returned to Starbuck, where he met and married Susan Harris, a young school teacher from northern Idaho. Since childhood, Ben dreamed of becoming a farmer. He worked for other farmers while beginning to lease and buy his own land, eventually owning his own wheat and cattle operation. His formal education ended at high school, but Ben valued education and made sure his daughters had the means to attend college; all four of them graduated with Bachelor’s degrees. One of his best qualities was his ability to give people a chance, no matter how down on their luck they were, as long as they had the desire to work and do better. His family is proud to continue that tradition by offering the Ben Dickinson Memorial Scholarship each year.
A tremendous athlete and an excellent student, John played tennis, basketball, and football while attending Walla Walla High School from 1991- 1994. John graduated from WSU with a degree in Biology and published five laboratory text books during his undergraduate studies. John taught Anatomy and Physiology for the Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho Medical Extension Program (WAMI) at WSU. He coached boys’ high school tennis in Spokane and baseball in Walla Walla. In honor of John, Jessi Boschma created this scholarship fund to support other scholar-athletes who have faced adversity and are continuing their college education. While John loved academics and athletics, he would not have been able to attend college without financial support from others who believed in him.
Earl Brown was born in Hugo, Oregon. He was raised with five other siblings during the heart of the Great Depression. Earl worked as a machinist at a defense plant in the early 1940s going to night school to get his machinist rating as an “Iron Fireman.” He then worked at Willamette Iron and Steel. Earl attempted to enlist in the military at the beginning of WWII but was turned down due to a heart condition. He then attended Oregon State College where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Entomology in 1950. He began working as a Research Entomologist and Extension Agent for the Umatillla County Extension Service in Hermiston and later in Milton-Freewater. After the record freeze in November 1954 destroyed over 3,000 acres of fruit trees in the area, Earl was a “key player” assisting farmers with the replanting of orchards to be back into production in 1960. Earl also did much research for Oregon State University in the areas of alkali bees and apple grafting.
The family business, Earl Brown and Sons, was established in 1977 and began with a fruit growing and packing business. The business grew with his three sons, son-in-law, daughter and now to include four grandsons and other key players. Earl retired in 1992 and the family has since added vineyards, a winery and hard apple cider production. In 2016, members of the Wenatchee-based Foreman Fruit Company bought Earl Brown & Sons, though Earl’s children and grandchildren still manage local operations on more than 1,000 acres of apples and 115 acres of wine grapes. The Foreman family was instrumental in establishing the scholarship fund for Earl Brown and Sons employees.
Thompson Elliott, also known as T.B. or “Thompy,” passed away on April 5, 1990. He grew up in Walla Walla and graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1922. T.B. married Irene Cleveland in 1927. His mother was the daughter of Dorsey Baker, a founder of Baker Boyer Bank. In 1937, T.B. was vice-president and treasurer of the White Horse Clothing Co. Inc., a men’s clothing store on Main Street in Walla Walla. This scholarship is for high school graduates in Walla Walla County.
Ralph was from Walla Walla and Elsa was from Wild Horse Creek (near Athena, Oregon). They met at a Walla Walla teachers’ picnic at Pioneer Park; they were working for Walla Walla High School, he as a teacher and she as head of the cafeteria. Ralph graduated from Whitman College in 1922 following service in World War I. Elsa graduated from Oregon State College in 1928. While Ralph was in high school, he was on the Walla Walla football team that won the Pacific Northwest Championship in 1917. After college, during the Great Depression, Elsa sometimes worked in Walla Walla for $.50 an hour doing house work, cooking and childcare.
They were both tireless and thrifty workers throughout their long marriage. The Emighs lived in the home they built themselves for 71 years. Ralph passed away on December 7, 1973 at 75 years old; Elsa passed away on January 4, 2008 at the age of 101.
Each year, over ten scholarships are awarded from their endowed scholarship fund, which was created through a bequest.
William and Mary Falconer married on May 25, 1932 and moved to ranch in Lowden, Washington, to raise wheat. William Falconer helped form the Port of Walla Walla in September 1952, and served as commissioner from 1952-1955. William and Mary were active in the community, and served as chaperones for the Walla Walla County Fair Court Royalty for decades. This scholarship is for graduates of Walla Walla County high schools with a preference for students studying agriculture or an agriculture-related field.
Keith and Helen had each suffered the loss of their spouses when they met. Keith had been employed by Birds Eye Foods since 1938 when he moved his family to Walla Walla from Hillsboro, Oregon, in 1973. Helen grew up in Athena, Oregon, and later moved to Walla Walla with her family. Keith and Helen were married in 1974. They traveled extensively with the International Executive Services Corps, with which they were active members. This scholarship is for graduates of high schools in Walla Walla, Umatilla or Columbia counties who demonstrate leadership and good citizenship.
Earl and Jane Ferguson grew up in Weston, Oregon, in families with little means. Both graduated from Weston High School in the early 1950s and they married in 1952. After finishing their educations at Oregon State University (a doctorate and staff position for Earl, a Bachelor’s degree for Jane), they departed for Klamath Falls, Oregon. Earl served as a school superintendent for 24 years, and Jane was an elementary school teacher for 20 years. They return to Weston often and enjoy the Pioneer Picnic. This scholarship is to help students from Weston-McEwen High School get a financial start in college. Students are awarded $1,000 based on good scholastic record, demonstrated leadership qualities, good citizenship and respect for the law. They must have a desire to excel, an aptitude for post-high school straining, and financial need.
Edward Fields was born on May 24, 1910, on a small wheat and cattle ranch in Walla Walla County. During World War II, he toured England, Africa and Italy while in the Army Air Corps. This scholarship is for a student graduating from a high school in Walla Walla County who has been active in 4-H and/or Future Farmers of America (FFA).
Donald Fix was a 1943 graduate of Dayton High School where he was a standout athlete. Don was offered football scholarships at three universities his senior year, but joined the Marines during World War II. After his discharge from the military, Don enrolled as a 21 year old freshman at Stanford University, where he met Nancy J. Riesenbeck. Both graduated with Bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University; Don in Civil Engineering and Nancy in Social Sciences with a concentration in accounting and economics. They moved to Fullerton, California, where they raised their family and started their own business. This scholarship is for Dayton High School graduates.
With the support of children Karen, Wayne, Steve, and David, Jean Frank created this scholarship to assist older students going to college, preferably to pursue a teaching career. The scholarship fund was her late husband Gene’s idea. Education was important in the lives of the Frank family. Walla Walla’s “famous pair of jeans,” both graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1946. They married in 1948 and soon had two children. Gene worked at the family business, the Delishus Bakery on Chestnut Street. The Franks could see that the bakery business wasn’t going to support their growing family, so Gene started attending Whitman College at the age of 25. He continued to work full-time at the bakery while he completed his education. Jean worked as a bookkeeper at Naimy Furniture to help support the family. Gene’s college graduation was a family affair, as seen in the photo above. He had a long and successful career as an elementary school principal in the Walla Walla Public Schools, serving at Washington, Sharpstein, and Berney, from which he retired.
Ken and Vivian Garner supported their alma mater, Whitman College, for more than 80 years. Part of that support included these scholarships, a legacy for local students. Vivian studied English and earned her library credentials at the University of Washington, and Ken studied Political Science. Vivian spent her career as a librarian at the Walla Walla Public Library while Ken operated Table Supply Grocery for nearly 40 years. Together with Ken’s Sister, Mary Garner Esary, they provided generous support for Whitman College and the Walla Walla community. Among their many gifts to Whitman were the Charles B. and Anna v. Garner Library Book Endowment to honor Ken’s parents, and the Kenneth E. and Vivian C. Garner Library Endowment. They also provided support for Whitman’s Penrose Library expansion and renovation in 1999. The Kenneth Garner Scholarship Funds are for graduates of high schools in Walla Walla County.
Dayl and Doris met at the University of Montana in 1939. They married in 1940 and began traveling extensively due to Dayl’s service as a naval officer. In 1950, they moved to Walla Walla and started a family. Doris was a stay-at-home mother to two sons, Bill and Mark. In April 1950, Dayl started his own automobile business called Graves-Anderson. In April 1973, Dayl and Doris purchased land on South 9th street and relocated their business (now named Dayl Graves, Inc.). Dayl and Doris were active in the Walla Walla community. Doris was a founding member of the Carnegie Art Center, where she was a volunteer for over 30 years. She participated in Art Walla, which placed public art downtown and in Pioneer Park. She supplied funding for the famous bronze dog sculpture located on First and Main streets in downtown Walla Walla. The Dayl and Doris Graves Scholarship is for students enrolled at Walla Walla Community College Auto Mechanics and Body program or general education programs.
Katherine Guinn passed away on February 12, 2001 near Cheney, Washington, when she was involved in a tragic car accident. She was a 2001 WA-HI graduate and had just begun her freshman year at Eastern Washington University. Katherine’s family created this fund to honor her memory. This scholarship is for Walla Walla High School graduates with accomplishments in work and extra-curricular activities.
William and Delora Harpe were residents of the Touchet Valley for 44 years. During World War II, Bill was stationed on a battleship in the Pacific Theater, while Delora worked as a welder back home. Delora later attended Eastern Washington University and obtained a degree in Elementary Education. In 1956, Bill and Delora purchased acreage and 40 dairy cows to begin their own farm and dairy business. Delora taught elementary school at Touchet School while Bill farmed. They were both active in the Touchet community. In 1997, the William & Delora Harpe Scholarship was created to help students from the rural communities of Touchet, Waitsburg, Prescott and Burbank attend college.
This scholarship was created through the Altrusa Club of Walla Walla (a women’s service club) in the early 1970s to honor longtime members Charlotte Hart and Mabel Groseclose. Charlotte “Char” Hart was born in Illinois in 1925. She married Ted U. Hart, and together the couple owned Any-All Printers in Walla Walla. Char believed strongly in women helping women, and upon her death in 1976, her loving husband Ted established an endowment for scholarships as a living memorial to honor her dedication to her community and to women. Mabel Groseclose was born in Kansas in 1901. She taught elementary school in Kansas before moving to Walla Walla at the age of 26. She taught at Sharpstein and Berney schools until she married Robert Groseclose in 1928. At that time, married women weren’t allowed to work as teachers and she was forced to quit. An independent and courageous woman, she owned and directed a private kindergarten for 10 years; was Vice President of the State Association of Childhood Education; and served as the only woman on several boards. She was also a speaker at the United Nations when it was organized. Mabel died in Walla Walla in 1994.
Dr. S. Roger and Laura Jean Hevel established the Hevel Waitsburg Scholarship Fund in December 2005 to help students and community members in the Walla Walla Valley pursue high education. Roger and Laura have known each other since grade school, having both grown up in Pendleton, Oregon. They moved to Waitsburg in 1953 when the Waitsburg Commercial Club recruited Roger to be the town physician. The Hevel Waitsburg Scholarship Fund is for graduates of Waitsburg High School.
Ward and Vera were married in 1930 and were both Columbia County natives. In 1952, Ward and Vera were named Mr. and Mrs. Soil Conservationist for their efforts in protecting and conserving their 320 acres of farmland in Columbia County. Ward passed away on February 6, 1984 and Vera on May 6, 1985. Their Son, Conrad Hoskins, established this scholarship fund in June 1985 in memory of his parents.
The John Israel Scholarship Fund was created in 1991 by Anne Israel in honor of her late husband. John was born February 16, 1911 and attended Dayton schools. After graduating, he studied at Washington State College (now University) for three years. He was employed as a grain buyer by the Columbia County Grain Growers until moving to Walla Walla in 1937. He and Anne were married September 3, 1938, in Walla Walla. During World War II, he served as a sergeant in the Army in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. After the war, he returned to the Continental Grain Co., which transferred him to Lewiston, Idaho, in 1946. He retired from the firm in 1975. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity at WSU, was a lifelong member of the Elks Lodge No. 287 (Walla Walla) and a member of the Congregational Church in Dayton. This scholarship is for graduates of Dayton High School.
Marilyn Jensen was born in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1939. She moved to Weston, Oregon, with her family and graduated from high school in 1957. She went on to graduate from Walla Walla Beauty College a few years later. Marilyn married Gary Jensen in 1958. She worked at Baker Boyer Bank until her retirement in 1999. Sadly, Marilyn was tragically killed on the morning of August 10, 2005, during her morning bike ride. Her husband Gary, along with other family members, created this scholarship to honor her memory. This scholarship is for seniors of Weston-McEwen High School who have been active in extracurricular activities. Preference is given to students pursuing a college degree in engineering, health/medicine, or the ministry.
Born in 1845 to William & Barbara (Eischelman) Keslar,* Wesley Kessler was raised in the Donegal Township of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Wesley married Mary Amanda Mosholder and together they had 13 children. In 1927, Wesley graduated from the School of Pharmacy at Washington State College (now University). He began working for the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of the largest manufacturers of pharmaceutical supplies in the country. This scholarship is for students attending WSU studying Pharmaceutical Sciences. *Name purposely spelled differently
After James “Jim” Kibler passed away in April 2008, his friends and family endowed a scholarship to honor his lifelong contributions to local, regional and national farm and livestock interests. This scholarship is for students in Washington, Oregon and Idaho with farming backgrounds who wish to further their education in farming, animal or plant science, veterinary medicine, natural resource management, technology, marketing or agri-business.
Roberta was born on Christmas Eve in 1911 in Spokane, Washington, to Dr. Robert and Jessie Robertson Bell. She graduated from North Central High School in1929, and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from the University of Idaho in 1932. On October 26, 1935, Roberta married J. Hugo Kraemer in Albany, New York. She later earned her Master’s degree from Purdue University in 1951. Roberta and Hugo traveled extensively before Hugh passed away in 1986. Roberta lived in the Odd Fellows Home in Walla Walla for many years. The Roberta Bell Kraemer scholarship is for students who have graduated from high schools in Walla Walla County.
Originally from Weston, Missouri, James Lamar bought land in the part of Walla Walla County known as the Eureka Flat in 1872. His brother Joseph joined him a few years later. The Lamars were an interesting family. Based on articles written around 1912, the brothers were known for having a good sense of humor as well as being particularly frugal. Despite their frugality, they were also known for being warmly hospitable. They gave generously to the Stubblefield Home for Boys and to Whitman College. They preferred to remain in the original cabin which was built in 1863, despite providing modern homes with electricity and running water to their employees, since they felt the cabin was more “homelike.” The historic cabin, pictured above, is one of the oldest in Walla Walla County, and is still located on the farm. The James N. Lamar Scholarship Fund supports students pursuing higher education. Half of the scholarships are for Whitman College students, and half are for students from Weston, Missouri.
A Walla Walla native, with deep roots in the community, Hannah was the founder and chef of Brasserie Four (2008-2016). She believes the sincerity, perseverance, dedication, and vision of those in the agriculture, wine, restaurant, and service industries in the valley has led Walla Walla to be the beloved and unique destination that it is today. A scholarship fund for those dedicated families in the hospitality industry was founded in 2016 in her name to applaud, highlight, and support those pursuing their very own dreams of a higher education.
The goal of the scholarship fund is to provide financial support for employees, or the children of employees, in the hospitality and service industries in Walla Walla County. College scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and merit.
Jack McDonald was born in Walla Walla on August 7, 1928. He attended Sharpstein Elementary, Walla Walla High School, and Whitman College, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and ran track. He began working as an insurance agent/broker at the J.F. McDonald Agency in Walla Walla (now known as McDonald Zaring Insurance) the day after his graduation from Whitman College. Jack’s father, John Frederick McDonald, founded J.F. McDonald Agency in 1946. Jack was active in the Walla Walla community and encouraged everyone to live life to the fullest, worry less, and laugh often. Jack passed away surrounded by family and friends on May 21, 2012. This scholarship is for Walla Walla High School graduates who participated in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, and were involved in track.
John William McGillis, Jr., was the only child of John “Jack” and Lois McGillis. He was born in 1957 and passed away at age 20, during the summer of his sophomore year at Whitman College. His family remembers him for many things, but his academic achievements especially stand out. He had a 4.0 GPA and was named Valedictorian at DeSales High School in 1975. During college, John wanted to pursue a career in academia. John may have never had the opportunity to educate students, but the scholarship fund in his memory has helped dozens of students achieve their college dreams. After his son’s death, Jack created this scholarship fund to support children who have graduated from high schools in the Walla Walla Valley who have demonstrated academic excellence.
Colee and Mary McJunkin moved to Hermiston, Oregon, from California in 1949 with three daughters, Myrna, Anita and Sandra. Colee and Mary worked hard all their lives. Mary was a 1933 graduate of the University of Montana and taught elementary school in both Montana and California. Colee was a carpenter and worked construction his entire life, having only completed two years of high school. Colee, with his brother-in-law and father, started a lumber company. Both Colee and Mary valued higher education and ensured their daughters would attend college. The McJunkin Scholarship is in memory of Colee and Mary McJunkin and is for Hermiston High School graduates.
Charlotte was born in1900 in Endicott, Washington. She graduated from Walla Walla High School and attended WSU until health issues forced her to end her studies and return to Walla Walla. On Christmas day in 1923 she married Earnest Mikkelsen. They farmed land on the Lower Waitsburg Road until Earnest’s death in1988. Charlotte passed away in 2000 at the age of 100. The Charlotte Mikkelsen Scholarship is for graduates of Waitsburg High School.
Merwin and Althea Neace were lifelong residents of Dayton, Washington, and alumni of Dayton High School. They were married on January 4, 1948. Merwin served in the U.S. Army during World war II, where he was stationed in the South Pacific. After the war, he returned to Dayton and worked on the family farm. Althea attended Whitworth college and St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing. She was employed at the medical offices of Dr. W.W. Day and Dr. E.J. Harri. The Neace Family Scholarship is for Dayton High School graduates.
Robert Abbey was born in Walla Walla and raised in Waitsburg, Washington. He graduated for Waitsburg High School and attended Walla Walla Community College. He married Barbara Gayle Saxon in 1965 and worked on the family farm near Waitsburg and at Standard Oil. For over 25 years, he worked for Touchet Valley Grain Growers. At the time of his death, Robert was the general manager of Touchet Valley Grain Growers, Inc., and played an important role in the formation of Northwest Grain Growers, Inc. This scholarship is for members, children of members or children of employees of NWGG, Inc., who are graduating seniors or past graduates of Walla Walla High School, Waitsburg High School, Prescott High School, Touchet High School, DeSales High School, McLoughlin High School, Dayton High School, College Place High School, Weston-McEwen High School, Pendleton High School, Helix High school or the Walla Walla Valley Academy. In addition one scholarship may be awarded per year to a student attending another high school. This is a four-year renewable scholarship for recipients who maintain at least a 2.75 GPA.
Beginning with the 2020-2021 scholarship year, students from St. John-Endicott, LaCrosse, Garfield and Colfax will also be eligible.
In 2006, Leota Olney and her family provided funds to endow a scholarship fund for Prosser High School graduates. Leota wished to honor her parents, Edward and Julia Olney, who valued education, hard work, and the Prosser Community. The Olney Furniture store was located just down the street from the high school. Leota was a vital part of her parent's business when she returned from college. The Olney Family Scholarship fund has grown to almost $1.5 million. A portion of the income from these funds provides $2,000 scholarships that are renewable for four years.
This fund was originally created to support the Prescott Presbyterian Church located in Prescott, Washington. The late Ben Flathers bequeathed the funds for this purpose. Unfortunately, the Prescott Presbyterian Church ceased operations in February 2013. The Blue Mountain Community Foundation worked with the remaining members of the parish to alter the purpose of the fund. As per Ben’s request, it now provides scholarships for students in Walla Walla County.
Prosser Scholarship Fund has long provided scholarships to graduates of Prosser high schools. A separate charitable organization, it has actively raised funds for scholarships in the Prosser area for many years. This tradition began when local businesses first provided financial assistance for local high school star-athlete Jim Houston. The Scholarship Fund was started soon after, with the support of Mr. Houston, in order to help other Prosser graduates. In 2016, the Prosser Scholarship Fund permanently transferred this fund and two other scholarship funds to BMCF for management and investment. The Prosser Scholarship Fund Organization continues to raise funds for scholarships for Prosser High School graduates.
Donald and Ruth Roff married in Spokane, Washington, on June 28, 1934. Donald attended Dixie High School and graduated in 1925, while Ruth attended Walla Walla High School as well as Whitman College. Both were hard workers who contributed much to their community. Donald worked in many industries during his life, including a grocery store and fruit company in California; a biscuit company in Spokane; and the Green Giant company in Waitsburg. Donald and Ruth were also farmers from 1945-1949, before moving to Walla Walla where Donald worked at Fred Becker Dodge and Plymouth Agency. Donald later worked for Lewy Carpenter as a realtor, eventually becoming a real estate broker at J.F. McDonald Agency. Ruth was a field consultant for the American Red Cross, with territory boundaries in Baker, Oregon; Yakima, Washington; and Lewiston, Idaho. Ruth was also a 25-year member of Rebekah Lodge in Dixie, as well as the Sunshine Club and the Tuberculosis Association. The Donald C. & Ruth F. Roff Fund provides financial assistance to charitable organizations in Walla Walla County, as well as scholarships for local students to attend institutions of higher learning and vocational schools after high school.
Walter W. “Walt” Roloff was born January 28, 1920 in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. He attended Tum-A-Lum Grade School and McLoughlin Union High School, graduating in 1936. While in school, he worked on the family farm and part-time at the Red and White Grocery Store. After high school, he was the manager at the Stone Food Stores in Walla Walla. During World War II, he served with the navy in the South Pacific, and was discharged in 1946. In the spring of 1947, he began farming on his own with the lease of a 10 acre parcel. While helping with his father’s orchard business, he accumulated another 400 acres. He was very interested in sports and officiated football, basketball, and baseball games. He gave 25 years of service to World Shrine Football and was affiliated with the Blue Mountain Officials Association for 35 years. This scholarship is to assist meritorious students graduating from high schools in Walla Walla, Garfield, Columbia or Umatilla counties.
Lawrence and Margaret Slater met in Utah in 1939 where Margaret was teaching at Utah State University. They married in 1942 during World War II and moved to Pomeroy, Washington in 1946. They raised their family in Pomeroy, where Lawrence was a teacher and coach for the Pomeroy School District. The Lawrence & Margaret Slater Scholarship Fund is to support graduates of Pomeroy High School pursue higher education.
Collin Ray Snider was born May 31, 1993, in Pendleton, Oregon, the son of Timothy L. & Deanna M. Sloan Snider. He was a senior at Weston-McEwen High School in Athena, Oregon, at the time of his death. During his life, he had worked with the Walla Walla Forestry Service in the Youth Corps program as well as for local farmers. Collin was also completing a certificate in wildland fire fighting at the time of his death, and intended to continue his education in Forestry/Fire Fighting. This scholarship is for students who wish to pursue a career as a firefighter or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Gabriel Tichi and Woodrow “Woody” Groom, Jr., both firefighters, were both tragically killed during an early morning fire in Downtown Walla Walla on New Year’s Day 1974. Gabe Tichi was 47 years old and Walla Walla’s Fire Marshal. He left behind his wife, Helen, and three children. Woody Groom was found responsive after the fire, but passed away a few hours later in a Richland hospital. Woody left behind his wife, Linda, and two daughters. The Tichi-Groom Scholarship Fund is for graduates of high schools in Walla Walla County who are dependents of fire fighters or law enforcement officers.
Ann Weatherill was a teacher at Garrison Middle School and a former Peace Corps volunteer, having served in Paraguay. At Garrison, she taught both English and English as a Second Language classes. She was active in various school programs and athletics, including the swimming program. She was well-liked by students and highly respected in the Walla Walla Valley. In 204, while bicycling on Mother’s Day with a group of cyclists, Ann was tragically struck and killed by a passing motorist five miles east of Prescott. She left behind her husband, Charles Potts, and daughters Emily and Natalie. As a result of this tragedy, local cyclists, including members of the Wheatland Wheelers Bicycle Club, met with the Washington Bicycle Alliance to urge passage of new safety laws. As a result, a year later the Safe Passing Bill was amended and signed by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire. This law includes the Ann Weatherill Safe Passing Act (commonly referred to as “The Ann Law”). To honor Ann’s memory, a fund was established at Blue Mountain Community Foundation that provides for the installation and maintenance of yellow “Share the Road” bicycle road signs throughout Walla Walla County. The signs are located on popular bicycle routes to raise awareness and reduce bicycle-vehicle accidents in Ann’s memory. Another fund, the Ann Weatherill Scholarship Fund, provides scholarships to students who attended Garrison Middle School.
In 1931, Ova Allen “O.A.” and his cousin formed White’s Trucking Co., which later became White Brothers Construction Co. In 1933, O.A. and Marion were married in Poulson, Montana. They relocated to Walla Walla in 1937. Both O.A. and Marion were active in the family business as well as farming. Marion also enjoyed photography and gardening. The O.A. & Marion S. White 4-H Scholarship is for graduates of high schools in the Walla Walla Valley who were active in 4-H.
Founders Jeff Broom and Wes & Katie Leid grew up in Waitsburg and attended Waitsburg schools from kindergarten through high school. Understanding and valuing the opportunity to grow up and attend school in a small rural town, they wanted to give back to future Waitsburg students. In 2013, the trio decided to create a scholarship fund to provide scholarships to students who graduate from Waitsburg High School. Other founding donors include Glenn and Sally Baker and the Waitsburg High School Alumni Association. This scholarship is for Waitsburg High School graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
After his death in 1997, Paul left $24,672 to the Waitsburg High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund in his will. Paul, and his brothers Wayne and Emory, attended Waitsburg High School, with Paul graduating in 1935. Paul was a U.S. Army Corps veteran of the China-Burma-India Theater and Air Force Rescue Service during his 21-year military career. After retiring from the military, Paul drove long-haul trucks until an on the job accident in 1966 left him confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. After his accident, Paul devoted the next 30 years of his life to writing letters to Congress to draw their attention to the needs of veterans and senior citizens.
In 1989, the Walla Walla-Columbia School Retirees Association established this scholarship fund to benefit students in Walla Walla and Columbia counties pursing a degree in Education. The Scholarship supports them as they complete their student teaching experience.
The Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund is designed to assist high school graduates in advancing their education beyond high school. The fund began as a 50th Reunion Project of the Class of 1962, and all friends and graduates of WA-Hi can contribute throughout the year. Gifts of tribute honoring friends or celebrating birthdays and special life events are common, as are memorial gifts. This fund has awarded over $7,000 in scholarships in the first 5 years. Jerry Zahl has been instrumental in growing this fund, which reached a balance of $100,000 in 2017.
This scholarship was established for the children and grandchildren of employees of Wheatland Insurance Center. Applicants must be continuing college students with a minimum 2.5 GPA and enrolled full-time while pursuing an associate, bachelor or graduate degree. Students are eligible once their parent or grandparent has worked for the company for at least 3 years, or if retired, worked for the company for a minimum of 3 years.
A 1942 graduate of Walla Walla High School, Melvin married Marian in 1944. The two raised their children in Walla Walla where they were active members of Blue Mountain Community Church. Melvin was a lifetime member of the local Elks Lodge and was inducted into the Washington State Horsehoe Pitcher Association Hall of Fame. This scholarship is for high school seniors in Walla Walla & Columbia Counties.