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Edinboro University receives more than $1 million in seven scholarship gifts


EDINBORO, Pa. – The previous year turned into a banner 12 months for major gifts at Edinboro University. Among the many donors who contributed to various scholarship funds, seven in particular combined to raise more than $1 million for endowed student scholarships.

“Despite the economic downturn in recent years, Edinboro alumni and supporters have continued their generosity throughout 2011,” said Interim President James D. Moran.  “Scholarship aid to students is extremely important at any time, but in recent years such gifts have been vital to our ability to continue to attract and retain the brightest students. Without this kind of assistance, many of these students simply would not have the wherewithal to attend college.”

Moran extended his gratitude, and that of the entire University community, to the many donors who during the previous year made contributions large and small to myriad endowed scholarship funds.

Among the largest contributors were:

  • The Estate of Sukhbans K. Dhillon, which added $363,325 to a previously established memorial scholarship fund honoring Mrs. Dhillon’s son, Surinder S. Dhillon.  The fund will cover scholarships for study abroad, for students with disabilities, and  to help maintain Edinboro University’s Office for Students with Disabilities in the Crawford Center;


  • The Estate of O.E. Bertrum Shaffer, which contributed $334,720 in unrestricted funds to Edinboro University. Mr. Shafer graduated in 1938 from Edinboro State Teachers College, worked as an art instructor in the Butler Area School District at the beginning of his career, and served as an assistant principal there before beginning a long tenure with Butler County Community College (BC3). At the time of his death at age 95 in 2010, he still held the title of professor emeritus at BC3;


  • Donald and Patricia Kaufman, who established a $100,000 honors program scholarship. Dr. Kaufman earned his Bachelor of Science-Biology degree in 1966 and his Master of Science-Education degree in1968, both from Edinboro State College. Currently the director of Miami University’s (Ohio) Hefner Zoology Museum and professor emeritus of the University’s Department of Zoology, he has provided more than 40 years commitment to science education. The recipient of  numerous educational awards and honors, Dr. Kaufman in 2007 received the Distinguished Alumni Award-Education from Edinboro University;


  • The Elva Elder Reither Family, which added $100,000 to the Elva Elder Reither Memorial Scholarship. Scholarships are restricted to students majoring in the arts or sciences. Mrs. Reither attended Edinboro State Normal School  from 1920 to 1922; and


  • The Hill/Skelton Scholarship, which added $84,057 to the scholarship fund established in 1996 to honor the James R. Hill, Jr., and his wife, Frances Jeanne Skelton Hill. This scholarship is restricted to General McLane High School graduates pursuing education degrees in secondary math, social studies, elementary or elementary/special education. The Hill and Skelton families have rich histories related to the Borough of Edinboro and Edinboro University. Frances was a 1941 graduate of Edinboro State Teachers College, and James was a 1942 graduate. They both had teaching careers and together founded Indian Head Landing, a beautiful camping and boating area along Edinboro Lake. The family legacy continued as their children and grandchildren attended Edinboro. Frances’ brother and sister both graduating from Edinboro, and James’ grandfather was a longtime member of Edinboro’s Council of Trustees.

  • Other gifts bringing the total to $1,007,102 included $15,000 from the Roth Marz Partnership architectural firm to provide honors scholarships, and $10,000 from the Estate of Attorney Will J. Schaaf, a graduate of Edinboro State Teacher’s College, to establish a memorial scholarship providing financial assistance to deserving Edinboro students.


Special granite pavers for both the Hill/Skelton Family and the Elva Elder Reither Family have been installed at the Fighting Scot Statue Plaza, and a bench honoring O.E. Bertrum Shaffer will be dedicated at Loveland Hall this spring.