On April 1, 2019, the YSHS classes of ’65, ’66 and ’68 commenced a month-long fund drive to supplement the $25K endowment that had been raised over the previous 2 years. At the end of April, an additional $7K was donated to the Fund. The Scholarship Board of Directors (Linda Johnson-Dillenbeck, Jim Niswander and Mike Hughes) agreed to increase the Scholarship award to $2,000 in 2019 and $3,000 in 2020 due to reaching a Fund balance of $32,500.
On May 22, 2019, $2,000 was awarded to Dylan Rainey, the third recipient of the 50th Reunion Leadership Spirit Scholarship. Dylan plans to attend Ohio University to pursue a Political Science major. He was active in a myriad of activities while at YSHS including tutoring Rwandan refugee children, serving as captain of both the baseball and soccer teams and excelling in the classroom and in other extracurricular activities. We are proud to name Dylan Rainey our 2019 Scholarship Award Winner.
Dylan joins Augie Knemeyer and Aidan Hackett as the first three 50th Reunion Leadership Spirit Scholarship winners. It is exciting to think that these three and many more winners will be the legacy that is sustained by YSHS alumni for generations to come.
For the Board of Directors,
During May and June 2018, add-on donations made by members of the class of ‘66, members of the class of ’65, and a gift from Dorothy Mitchell Gish, the 50th Reunion Leadership Spirit Scholarship Fund balance reached $25,173.65. With the help of others, we have accomplished our Endowment Level ($25,000) goal in just 15 months and can now pass the baton to the class of ’68 and future YSHS 50th Reunion classes to keep increasing the Fund balance. Our vision is for the Scholarship award to be increased over time as the account balance allows and for the Scholarship to be going strong for generations of students into the 22nd century.
During the 50th reunion of the Yellow Springs High School (YSHS) Class of 1966, Labor Day weekend 2016, Mike Hughes, senior class president, addressed the reunion attendees suggesting the creation of a class scholarship for a deserving YSHS senior. There was strong support for the idea and from that was born the YSHS 50th Leadership Spirit Scholarship.
Joining Mike on the Scholarship committee were 1966 YSHS classmates Westina (Mathews) Shatteen, Tucker Viemeister, Jim Niswander, Anne Rauh, Dave Bullen and Bari (McKee) Teamor.
From September 2016 to March 2017, there were a number of challenges to overcome for the Scholarship to become a reality. Foremost, was the identification of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which would be responsible for administering the scholarship funds. After a few months, the Yellow Springs Community Foundation (YSCF) agreed to provide the non-profit platform for funds to be raised and administered so that fundraising could begin in earnest.
The YSCF has two levels of scholarships: a spend down account of <$25,000 and an endowment of $25,000 or more. The initial goal was to raise $5,000 which was reached rapidly as four members of the class each contributed $1,000 which were designated “matching funds”. An additional 30 classmates contributed another $6,000 during the fundraising campaign from March 15 thru May 8, 2017. Fifty-eight percent of the class contributed over $10,000 to kick off the scholarship for the YSHS class of 2017.
The first YSHS 50th Leadership Spirit Scholarship was awarded to August Michael (Augie) Knemeyer, who demonstrated the qualities of a compassionate leader in school, on the athletic field, and in the community. Incidentally, Augie is the grandson of August Michael (Mike) Knemeyer, YSHS class of 1965. Augie is a fourth generation Yellow Springs resident whose great-grandparents immigrated to the US from Germany.
Below is the picture of Dawn Boyer, Director of Advancement, Yellow Springs Schools, presenting the Leadership Spirit Scholarship award to Augie on May 16, 2017, at the Awards Day Assembly.
If you have any questions, please contact Mike Hughes at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Class of 1966 was proud to start the 50th Reunion Leadership Spirit Scholarship, and we hope that many classes will join the team in the years ahead!