There was much to be thankful for this past Wednesday afternoon, November 15th, , for your local Rotary Club here in LaGrange. The Rotarians in our community are always working through different avenues in order to help out others and to provide amazing opportunities for people to make the most out of their lives. It is in this spirit that the Walter Y. Murphy scholarship was formed many years ago and this past Wednesday, amongst the delicious Thanksgiving meal served at LaGrange College, that the Rotarians celebrated the twentieth anniversary of this amazing scholarship.
Back in 1998, the Walter Y. Murphy Scholarship was formed to help give financial assistance to selected students at LaGrange College. It was the club’s 75th anniversary project for 1999 and was started by a gracious donation from the Callaway Foundation. Each year, there are four recipients chosen for the award based on merit, volunteerism, and service above selfmentalities. The scholarship and the funds donated for said scholarship has grown tremendously throughout the years leading to the 20th anniversary this past week.
The LaGrange Rotary Club and members of La-Grange College have worked incredibly hard over the years raising funds for the scholarship, as they have strived to double the existing endowment. As of June of this year, their assets totaled around $240,000. Over the years, 37 scholarships have been awarded with an average of around $3,000 per student. To date, the club has awarded around $110,000. In addition, the Callaway Foundation has graciously offered a matching gift opportunity for up to $150,000, allowing pledges an opportunity to double their contributions. As of November 1st of this year, the club has raised $29,175 before the matching funds.
That afternoon at the luncheon, as members received their pins signifying their level of monetary donations, they did so in the spirit not of recognition, but in the spirit of giving. Each year the student’s benefit greatly from the generosity of the club, the college, and the Callaway Foundation, and all other parties involved with this charitable giving. Walter Murphy himself was on hand in the crowd, a long serving past president of LaGrange College and his example in the world of academia has clearly left a lasting legacy on many in our community. The Walter Y. Murphy Scholarship will continue to grow in the years to come because that’s what Rotarians do, as they strive to help their community for the future and far beyond.