An annual fundraiser aims to make Fulton's two colleges accessible to local students.
"We like to keep our students local," said Kelly Trigg, co-president of the Fulton Colleges Board of Associates.
Since 1963, supporters of William Woods University and Westminster College have spent a whirlwind week each year raising money to fund scholarships.
This year's goal is $50,000, which would fund $1,500 scholarships for up to 24 students (12 for each college). Eligible recipients include all Callaway County high school seniors, including homeschool students.
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In the fall of 1962, Robert L. D. Davidson, president of Westminster College; Joe Boyd Humphreys, vice president of Westminster; Jack Atkinson, trustee for Westminster and William Woods; Al Maune (first president of the Board of Associates); and Randy Cutlip, president of William Woods, founded the Board of Associates of Fulton Colleges. This organization was put together to foster local interest in the two colleges and to aid local students.
The first scholarships were awarded in 1963: two scholarships, one to an incoming freshman at each college, amounting to $600.
"I think we have such assets in the community," said Jennifer Brady, a fundraiser participant and financial advisor for Edward Jones. "I hope local Callaway County students realize what we have right here."
Brady grew up in Fulton and attended William Woods University.
"My mother attended William Woods, as did my brother and my son," she said. "It's a family tradition. Both colleges work hard to offer a variety of studies."
She's participated in the FCBA's annual fundraiser for the last 15 years and is a past president of the board.
For the next week, volunteers will call local businesses and solicit donations. To help get things started, a few businesses have made early-bird donations. These include:
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Platinum Level ($5,000 and up): Ameren, Ovid Bell Press, The Callaway Bank.
Gold Level ($2,500-$4,999): Moser's Foods, Mo-Con, Inc.
Silver Level ($1,000-$2,499): Backer's Potato Chip Co., Central Bank, Dollar General, Maupin's Funeral Home, Mike and Debbie Laughlin, Wise Brothers.
Results will be announced Aug. 29 during a luncheon at Westminster College. In 2018, more than 120 businesses and individuals made contributions.
Michael Westerfield, vice president of institutional effectiveness for William Woods, said the college is grateful for the volunteers' efforts.
"Many places much larger in size than Fulton would love to have one college, much less two," he said. "What this drive means to us, more than just the money, is that we have community support."
The 2018 scholarship recipients attending William Woods this fall include Alexander Nikonwicz, Tyklen Salmons and Lydia Mason. New recipients attending Westminster this fall are Jacob Alcorn, Christa Gilman and Kelly Markley.
Mail donations to Brenda Foster at William Woods University (1 University Ave. in Fulton). For more information, contact Foster at 573-544-5951 or Brenda.Foster@WilliamWoods.edu.