SSU Development Foundation creates scholarship

A new scholarship was created for veterans through the SSU Development Foundation thanks to a generous donation by Dr. George and Sandra White. Pictured left to right: SSU President Rick Kurtz, Sandra White and Dr. George White.

The Shawnee State University Development Foundation recently received a generous gift from Dr. George and Sandra White to make scholarships available for veterans and their families.

“I’ve been involved with Shawnee State in a number of different capacities from its beginning,” Dr. White, retired physician and member of the SSU Board of Trustees, said. “My love of the university and its students continues to grow with each interaction. Sandy and I have taken several courses at SSU in recent years and are impressed with the faculty and the students here, particularly student veterans who are pursuing degrees. As a Vietnam veteran, I identify with these students and am proud to be in a position to help them further their education. I have tremendous respect for the military. For me, it’s about veterans helping veterans.”

The Whites have strong ties to the Armed Forces and say their family’s military history means a great deal to them and contributed to their decision to create a scholarship specific to veterans and their families.

“My brother served in the Army and my father fought in WWII,” Sandra White explained. “George served in Vietnam and lost family in both that war and in WWII. He had an uncle who fought with Patton and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He even has two great-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. We are a military family and are thrilled to be able to provide this type of scholarship.”

Dr. White says that Shawnee State’s continued growth has special meaning to him. He was a member of the board of Shawnee State Community College in the mid-1980’s and was a critical part of the creation of Shawnee State University. He holds the honor of serving as the last chairperson of the board of Shawnee State Community College and the first chairperson of the board of Shawnee State University. He was appointed by Governor Kasich in 2016 to return to Shawnee State to serve a nine-year term on the current Board of Trustees.

“I have a long history with Shawnee State and am proud of my role in the University’s creation,” White said. “I made the original motion for Shawnee State to become a four-year university in 1984. Vern Riffe was Speaker of the House at that time. I spoke with him and he agreed, as did Governor Rhodes and the state legislature. Speaker Riffe introduced the bill to create Shawnee State University and made it happen. As chairman of the board, I went to Columbus to testify of our need and the impact that having a four-year university here would have on our region. Other than my family, I consider that one of the most important parts of my life. I can’t imagine our community without Shawnee State University and I’m proud to be a part of its continued growth and success.”