Wawaka Alumni Scholarship Fund
For a graduating senior from West Noble High School residing in Elkhart Township, Noble County, Indiana who will be pursuing any kind of post high school education beginning in the Fall of 2017. Pays $1,000 one time (NCCF)
Donor Fund Story:
The Wawaka Alumni Scholarship was established so that the legacy of the local Wawaka School could be remembered by future generations. The vision of the scholarship is “To help carry on the traditions of the standard of education and values the alumni had received at Wawaka High School.”
Wawaka Alum liked their school because it was a small community where everybody knew everybody. Margaret Ott, Wawaka Alum, says, “In the 40’s and 50’s we were all on the same economic level. Most of the families had only one income per family. I think we had something that the younger generations miss out on.” Students knew the teachers cared about them, and they felt they had a good experience graduating from a small high school. Ott says, “I think we got a good education, and many people went on and became successful in their careers.”
The Wawaka Alumni Scholarship Committee started out with 3 officers in 1985. Ott has been the only treasurer and secretary of the scholarship committee and holds that position to this day. In 1986 a vote was taken at the annual meeting to put the scholarship program into action. The vote passed and a generous person was willing to match a pledge of up to $1,000. In 1988, the committee awarded their first scholarship of $500 dollars. Most of the scholarship recipients have received a college degree, and many of them have been successful in their career. Ott says, “We’ve had good feedback. And I believe they all appreciate it”
The scholarship was first started in a savings account, then it was put in a CD, and then the committee decided to start a fund at the Noble County Community Foundation Inc. They wanted to make sure that when all of the alumni members had passed on that the scholarship program could still live on.
In June of 2012, the Alumni met to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wawaka Alumni Association. There were 187 members and guests in attendance. Ott says, “Many people come from many parts of the country to celebrate the friendships and community that we had at the time.”
Ott is glad to call Noble County home. She says, “Even though we are a small county, there are many opportunities for people to get involved in.” Ott wishes her grandchildren could have the same educational experience that she was privileged to have at Wawaka.
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