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May 27, 2004

UPB Announces new Scholarships

Pitt’s Bradford campus announced several gifts that will support new scholarships. Included among the givers are an alumnus, a local family, a Bradford business and current faculty and staff at Pitt-Bradford.
* The faculty and staff at the regional campus have established a fund to honor Vincent T. Kohler, former professor of English, for his 24 years of service, 18 of which was as chairman of the Humanities Division.
The gift, totaling more than $6,500, was collected from faculty and staff members to create the Dr. Vincent T. Kohler Award for Scholarly Work in the Humanities Fund.
The fund will provide monetary awards each year to students who write an outstanding scholarly essay in the humanities, with first preference given to English and writing majors working on literary topics.
“We wanted to honor Dr. Kohler for his excellence as a teacher and because he truly understood the value of interdisciplinary studies,” said Carys Evans-Corrales, associate professor of Spanish. “He was well known for the personal interest he took in each student’s success.”
Kohler, who currently teaches political science at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., said, “Bradford is my home and Pitt-Bradford is my home, and it always will be,” Kohler said. “I spent the best years of my life there.”
The gift to create the fund was matched by the Reed-Coit Scholarship Challenge, which was created by a $1 million bequest from Dorothy Reed and is named for Reed and her sister Berdena Coit, who also was a donor to UPB.
* Alumnus Thomas Williams has given a gift to his alma mater to establish the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association Founders Scholarship in honor of those students who attended UPB from 1963-69.
The funds will provide scholarships to deserving students, with first preference given to students whose parents, legal guardians, siblings or other family members are Pitt-Bradford alumni.
Williams, who attended Pitt-Bradford from 1964-66, said that while planning the annual alumni weekend last year, the PBAA scholarship committee decided that it wanted to start a scholarship fund that would give the founding students the opportunity to show their appreciation.
Williams said he is working with Glenn Melvin, Pitt-Bradford’s director of alumni relations and annual giving, to contact all the alumni from the 1960s to ask for their support of the fund by making a pledge.
Thus far, alumni from that first decade have contributed nearly $3,000 to the scholarship fund.
“The ’60s were formative years, not only for Pitt-Bradford but for many of the students who went on to successful careers,” said Williams, who is a retired director of information at Wyeth Laboratories. “We knew many would be willing to return the favor by helping others.”
* Greg Booth, president and chief executive officer of Zippo Manufacturing Co., and his wife, Cherie, have given a gift to UPB to create a scholarship to help students who are hearing impaired or have other physical challenges.
The Gregory W. Booth Family Scholarship Fund, created with a $5,000 gift, will provide scholarships to undergraduate students who plan on attending Pitt-Bradford. First preference will be given to students who are hearing impaired or have other physical challenges.
The Booths wanted the new scholarship to benefit students who face physical challenges because their son Brett, 26, who graduated from Pitt-Bradford and now works for Eli Lilly and Co., is hearing impaired.
Gregory Booth, who is a member of the UPB advisory board said he has watched the campus take shape since its beginning 40 years ago. “As a board member, I feel strongly that I should help Pitt-Bradford where I can,” Booth said. “That, coupled with the fact that my sons, Dr. Greg Booth and Brett Booth, both graduated from Pitt-Bradford, and my daughter, Ashley, is now attending Pitt-Bradford, reinforced my thought that Pitt-Bradford is where scholarship monies should go.”
Booth left Bradford in 1993 and worked for Kendall Motor Oil in Connecticut. In 1999, he and his family came back to Bradford when he took over as the president and chief operations officer at W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. He was named Zippo’s CEO in 2001.
The Booths’ gift also was matched by the Reed-Coit Scholarship Challenge.
* Zippo Manufacturing Co.-Canada has made a $10,000 gift to Pitt-Bradford to create a scholarship to benefit relatives of employees at Zippo in Bradford.
Zippo-Canada, which was established in 1949, merged with Zippo headquarters in Bradford in 2002.
Gary Hyde, general manager of Zippo-Canada, and his wife, Wyona Pedersen-Hyde, former general manager, made the gift to UPB to create the Gary and Wyona Hyde Scholarship.
“My wife and I have always believed that everyone is entitled to an education,” Hyde said. “Today, there are many who are unable to afford a university education and could use the assistance of a company like Zippo-Canada to help them.”
Hyde said establishing the scholarship fund is the company’s way of giving back to the Bradford community.
According to Howard Fesenmyer, former vice president of sales at Zippo and current chairman of the Complete the Campus Campaign at Pitt-Bradford, “Establishing this scholarship has helped emphasize the company’s value on education. The Hydes have certainly proven that education is a number-one priority to them and the employees of Zippo-Canada.”
Creating new scholarships, such as the one established by the Hydes, is one of four key goals of the Complete the Campus Campaign, Fesenmyer added. Besides money for scholarships, the campaign, whose goal is to raise $13 million, will provide funds to develop the campus’s physical plant, to support academics and to improve and maintain technology.
“We have raised $9 million of our $13 million goal,” Fesenmyer said, “and we are very optimistic that we will soon reach our goal through donations to the campaign.”

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