This post is part of a continuing series that looks at the history of scholarships in Saginaw. Read: Saginaw Community Foundation Scholarships - A History, One City - Two School Districts, and In Honor Of... Scholarships and Memories.
The front page of the June 10, 1949, issue of the Saginaw News featured a detailed description of the 1949 Saginaw High School commencement exercises. The article noted that 372 graduates participated in the event and “heard a speaker who was forceful, dramatic – and humorous.” The paper reported that the most dramatic event of the evening was the awarding of the Saginaw High Alumni Memorial Scholarship. However, the News stated:
“Winners of Saginaw High School’s Don McGee and alumni scholarships have not been chosen as of yet. A commencement audience of some 3,000 persons Thursday night at the Auditorium felt disappointment over this tiding but shared the happiness of Richard Reimus, awarded the $1,000 SHS Memorial Scholarship.”
The reason for the delay was purely logistical – the members of the commission could not find a mutually convenient meeting time. And, on June 18, the paper reported:
“Names of the winners of six Saginaw High School cash scholarships were announced Saturday by Max P. Heavenrich Sr., chairman of the United Advisory Scholarship Commissions.”
“The coveted Don McGee Scholarship, this year amounting to $250.00, went to Gerald L. Wisniewski. Alumni scholarships of $200 each were awarded to Shirley Eddy and Doris Marsh. Ernest Hare and Joan Heiderer were given Alumni scholarships of $100.00 each. Usually a loan scholarship, a $100.00 cash E.C. Fischer Scholarship this year will go to Richard Haremski.”
The 1950 issue of the Aurora, the Saginaw High School yearbook recounts the history of the Alumni Scholarship:
“After an unusually successful financial year, the Senior class of 1920 decided to turn over $250 to the Alumni Association trustees, to serve as the nucleus of a fund to be designated as the ‘Alumni Scholarship.’ Subsequent profits from football games, plays, and the yearbook were added to the fund until April, 1935; then, by court action,
the United Advisory Scholarship commission came into permanent possession of the money, with instructions to make awards exclusively to East Side High School graduates.
“Today, Alumni Scholarship winners are selected jointly upon the recommendation of the faculty and the United Advisory Scholarship commission. Character, scholastic standing, participation and achievement in various recognized school activities, quality of leadership, regard for authority, evidence of future public spirit, sense of service, all elements which make for a thorough and constructive American citizen, comprise the basis of selection. Scholarships are awarded only as funds are available.
"Last year this honor was shared by SHIRLEY EDDY and DORIS MARSH, who received $200 each, and ERNEST HARE and JOAN HEIDERER, who received $100 each. Shirley is now attending Bay City Junior college; Doris, the University of Michigan; Ernest, Ferris Institute, Big Rapids; and Joan, the University of Michigan.”
The recipients of these scholarships and other awards and other award winners were celebrated in the 1950 Aurora – the Saginaw High Yearbook.
Looking at the list of recipients from 1949 – and other years, it becomes apparent that many scholarship recipients returned to Saginaw after completing their studies and had an impact on their home community.