Still giving after all these years

Emeriti faculty consistently support GSE scholarships. Pictured are some SPED faculty from a recent event (l. to r.): Dave Krug, Jean Edwards, Joe Kaplan, Steve Brannan, and Nancy Benson. Seated in front is Keith Larson, who recently passed away, and who remembered the GSE with an ongoing gift.

You may ask yourself, why does the name of that scholarship sound so familiar? There is a reason. Many Graduate School of Education retired faculty and emeriti have shown a long commitment to supporting our students and programs through gifts to scholarships. These supporters often set up a named scholarship that represents their family or to honor or memorialize a loved one or colleague.

What a collective impact these former faculty have had! Currently, 17 annual and endowment scholarship funds are supported by and/or named for GSE retired faculty and emeriti resulting in more than 136 scholarships being awarded over the last 11 years. “Scholarships make a big difference for our students and are a wonderful way to stay connected with the GSE,” says Dean Randy Hitz.

Gifts connected with former faculty:

Nancy Benson Scholarship
Nancy Benson, emerita in special education, began the Inclusive Elementary Educator program, which remains a model for preparing educators to work with all students. She continues to support the named scholarship originally established upon her retirement by former and current students, faculty, and other colleagues.

“I give because I’m grateful for the career I had at PSU with so many wonderful colleagues and students.”

Sandy Kaplan Scholarship
Joe Kaplan, emeritus in special education, established a scholarship in memory of his first wife Sandy, a gifted business education teacher who bonded with second language learners who were having difficulties. This scholarship supports prospective teachers wanting to work with that population of students.

Founders Endowment in Special Education
Named after the original special education faculty, this endowed scholarship was established and funded by the late Keith Larson, Steve Brannan, and Jean Edwards, along with other faculty and alumni to assist any student in special education.

Eleanor Hardt Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Teacher Education
Ulrich (Rick) Hardt began this endowment in his wife Eleanor’s memory at the time of her death.  Eleanor Hardt taught education methods classes in the GSE and supervised student teachers after a career teaching grades 2 through 8 in Portland Public Schools. This scholarship assists a female preparing to become a teacher who is returning to college after being gone for some time.

“I give in the memory of Eleanor because education was so important; what we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others lives on.”

Mary Kinnick PACE Scholarship
Emerita Professor Mary Kinnick began the Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education (PACE) program and devoted much of her scholarship and service to increasing access to postsecondary education and improving classroom and campus environments for all students. This scholarship supports a PACE student committed to social justice, access, and equity.

David and Wilma Cox Science Education Scholarship
David Cox, emeritus, prepared classroom science teachers in the School of Education after many years as a classroom science teacher in McMinnville and Milwaukie. He also helped establish the Center for Science Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He and his late wife Wilma wanted to support students who have the potential to become outstanding science teachers. This is a tribute to his profession, former colleagues, and students.

Jorgensen Family Endowed Scholarship
Hal Jorgensen prepared teachers in elementary school science and also spent a year as interim dean before becoming Professor Emeritus in Curriculum and Instruction. His Jorgensen Family Endowed Scholarship assists a student preparing to teach in elementary school.

“I wish to thank all the donors for providing scholarships to students like myself. In addition to helping ease the financial burden for graduate school, the scholarships provide recipients with encouragement and a sense of accomplishment.”2011 recipient April Rose Castillo

David Capuzzi Outstanding Scholar Program Endowment
Dr. Capuzzi, emeritus in Counselor Education, has tirelessly raised funds from alumni and professional colleagues locally and nationally to establish this endowment that will support a scholarly counselor educator with doctoral aspirations.

Sheldon Maron Endowed Scholarship
Sheldon Maron specialized in preparing educators of the visually impaired and early childhood special education. After his death, his family established the endowment so that they and many alumni, colleagues, and friends could assist students in the vision program.

Emeriti Richard Sonnen, Special Education, and Colin Dunkeld, Curriculum and Instruction, continue to be generous supporters of scholarships that don’t bear their names. Richard was instrumental in directing the establishment of the Wayne Larson and Norbert Gilles endowed scholarships in special education, the latter from his uncle’s estate. Colin has also given of his time to help the evaluation process.

Carol and Larry Burden award, scholarship, and research gifts
As an expression of their commitment to the GSE, Carol and Larry Burden have provided for future support of student scholarships and collaborative research through a charitable remainder unitrust. They also endowed a recognition award that annually supports an outstanding counselor education student. Carol Burden is emerita in counselor education.

McBride Scholarship
Stephanie McBride, former senior instructor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) and a graduate of the program, worked tirelessly with colleagues to create the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP) before her retirement. This unique program prepares secondary teachers in both content and special education. Her colleagues chose to honor her hard work by creating this scholarship in her name which she continues to support.

Michael and Marjorie Fiasca Endowed Scholarship
Michael and Marjorie Fiasca established a scholarship endowment for students preparing to teach physical and natural science in Oregon schools. Michael, a professor emeritus in education, began his career teaching high school physics, and his wife Marjorie was a special educator.

“I have an incredible respect and passion for teaching natural sciences. Thank you for your generous gift to help me finance my graduate education. I wouldn’t have the resources if it weren’t for donors.” 2011 recipient Jeffrey Buckingham

Mary Elizabeth York Endowed Scholarship in Early Childhood Education
As an early childhood education specialist, Mary York, emerita in Curriculum and Instruction, devoted her career to preparing teachers who focused on the earliest school years. She began this scholarship to assist prospective teachers with the same K-5 focus.

Art Terry Scholars’ Fund
This annual scholarship was established by faculty and current and former students in memory of counselor education faculty member Art Terry.

“I am touched by the generosity of your donors. I know their investment in my development as a professional counselor and educator will also benefit our larger community.” 2011 recipient Ryan Hofrichter

For more GSE scholarship details visit the website. To make a gift to an existing scholarship you may go to  For more information or to establish a scholarship, contact Sandy Wiscarson at or 503-725-4789 or Aaron Pearlman at or 503-725-8020.

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