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Scholarship recipients say thanks

November 20, 1998

Mont Alto ScholarshipsBy RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




MONT ALTO, Pa. - Six years ago, the Penn State Mont Alto campus offered $43,200 in scholarships to be shared by 11 students.

On Thursday night, Campus Chief Executive Officer David Goldenberg said 94 students will share $102,000 in scholarship money this year with a goal of $1 million in scholarships in 10 years.

At an annual banquet that brings together scholarship recipients and donors, Randy Beatty, 48, a junior studying sociology, said his $1,000 scholarship helps make his education possible.

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"I'm really appreciative for the opportunity to says thank you in a fitting way," the part-time minister said.

Beatty started college at Shippensburg University in 1968. He dropped out in 1979 when he ran out of money, he said. He resumed his education at Mont Alto thanks to his scholarship and his financially supportive wife, he said.

Two other recipients who spoke Thursday are young mothers.

Rebekah Smoker, 19, sat at the next table with Sadie, her 22-month-old daughter. In her sophomore year in nursing, Smoker, from Chambersburg, Pa., said her $1,200 scholarship has been a big help in getting through college.

Two tables away, Staci Grimes, 26, of Chambersburg, sat with her son, Adrian, 4. Grimes is in her sophomore year studying forestry.

She'll follow her associate's degree from Mont Alto with an undergraduate degree from Penn State, then a master's degree "from somewhere," she said.

John Shearer, 70, and his wife, Pauline, are from Chambersburg. He retired after 38 years of working for Penn State, the last 33 in the Franklin County Extension Office. The Shearers were sitting at the donors' table.

They are giving $25,000 for an endowed scholarship. Shearer and his wife are Penn State grads.

"We also grew up believing it's better to give, that you get more back when you do," he said.

Kenneth and Cheryl Plummer of Chambersburg set up a $25,000 scholarship in honor of Kenneth Plummer's mother, Dorothy Scruggs Plummer, who died 30 years ago.

Cheryl Plummer, a Franklin County Commissioner, said their scholarship is for students in education, liberal arts and journalism "so they can continue Dorothy's work."

Goldenberg said in the last 12 months three alumni gifts to the school totaled $2.1 million. They include $500,000 from Dr. Albert Kligman, class of 1939, and his wife, Lorraine, for a scholarship for returning Mont Alto students over age 23; a $1.2 million gift from Dr. Louis W. Schatz, class of 1934, for the school's first endowed professorship plus a $125,000 scholarship for forestry students; and a $500,000 endowed scholarship from Frank Speary, class of 1934, that Goldenberg announced Thursday night for students in forestry and civil engineering, or for those who show academic promise.

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