Fulton Colleges Board of Associates celebrates golden anniversary

It’s a happy 50th anniversary for the organization that helps Callaway County students attend either of the two local colleges.

The Fulton Colleges Board of Associates celebrates five decades of service to Callaway youth this year. Past and present members will be honored at a dinner at William Woods University Oct. 9.

At the dinner, the BOA will recognize the six remaining original members: O.T. Harris, John Harris, Dale Brady, L.E. Lewis, Richard White and Dr. George Groce. Former presidents will also be introduced.

The organization was founded to foster local interest in the two colleges and to aid local students. Callaway County residents pay an annual fee to belong, most of which goes toward the scholarships.

The BOA has awarded scholarships to Callaway County graduates that attend William Woods or Westminster each year since its founding in 1962. This year, two dozen students received scholarships. The drive to raise funds for the 2013-14 academic year began in August.

The amount of scholarships has increased significantly over the years. In 1963, the scholarships amounted to $600, awarded to only two students (one at each college). This year, the Fulton Colleges Board of Associates awarded a total of $48,000.

Although founded in the fall of 1962, the Board of Associates didn’t accept the responsibility of managing the Fulton Colleges Fund Drive each year until 1967, when it began using its members as solicitors. Each year more than 90 volunteers lend their time, calling on businesses and individual contributors. The volunteers make personal calls on the Callaway business community during the annual drive. Money collected is divided equally between the two institutions of higher education.

“Donors to the Fulton Colleges Fund Drive realize the value of the quality education Westminster College and William Woods University provide to their students,” Matt Gowin, Fulton Colleges Board of Associates president, said.

“For nearly 50 years, donors have been helping Callaway County high school students attend college locally at one of our valued institutions.”