March 05, 2007
Gholson honors parents by creating scholarshipCARBONDALE, Ill. — Ronald E. Gholson wanted to memorialize his parents in an appropriate fashion for always stressing the importance of formal education to their four children. The former Southern Illinois high school teacher figured the best way to accomplish this was to support the higher education goals of students from the area.
Gholson has announced plans to begin presenting the Rex and Mary Ann Gholson Scholarship this spring at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. A selection committee will determine the number of recipients and amount of the award on an annual basis. The SIU Foundation and the College of Education and Human Services will administer the scholarship.
Eligible applicants must be graduates of a high school in the Southern Illinois counties of Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline or White. Applicants must also major in education at SIUC with plans of pursuing a teaching career. A grade point average of 2.75 - 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) is preferred. In addition, community and/or college and university service involvement will be considered. "My mother and father believed education was very important. They wanted all of their children to acquire as much formal education as possible," Gholson said. "In their opinion, teaching was a wonderful career. They held American education in high regard."
After receiving his high school diploma from Eldorado in 1962, Gholson received three degrees from SIUC. He earned a bachelor's in social studies education in 1966, a master's in secondary education in 1972, and a doctorate in education in 1976.
After attaining his bachelor's, the Broughton native commenced a 35-year career in education. Gholson taught nine years at Norris City Omaha Enfield High School and 26 years in higher education. He spent 25 of those years as a professor at Eastern Illinois University. He retired in 2001 and still resides in Charleston.
In addition to honoring his parents, Gholson established the scholarship to assist students in the four-county area in need of financial support. Many of the school districts in the region have high concentrations of low-income families.
"Being poor is not a sin – it is not bad. These kids and their families need an opportunity," he said. "Hopefully the scholarship named for my parents will assist students from the area in achieving their educational dreams."
Gholson said he is thankful for the opportunities SIUC afforded him and his family. His brother, Fred, received an elementary education degree from the University in 1964. His niece, Ronda, and a nephew, Rodney, are also SIUC graduates.
"(SIUC) allowed me to grow and to build upon things my parents believed and taught me," Gholson said. "My undergraduate experience helped me to meet the challenges of becoming a high school social studies teacher. My goal was to become the best teacher some future school system had ever employed. I always worked to become that kind of teacher."
Rickey N. McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and CEO of the SIU Foundation, said Gholson has exhibited a history of support for his alma mater.
"Ron Gholson is truly appreciative of the education he received from SIUC. It laid the groundwork for a distinguished career in the teaching profession," McCurry said "He is a strong advocate for our institution and we are grateful for his ongoing support."
For more information about the scholarship, call Debbie Joseph or Jackie Chapman in the College of Education and Human Services, at 618/453-2354.
Caption: In memoriam – Rex R. and Mary Ann Turpin Gholson instilled the value of formal education in their children. One of their children, Ronald E. Gholson, a three-degree graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, recently established a memorial scholarship in his parents’ names. Gholson, who spent 35 years in education, including 25 years as a professor at Eastern Illinois University, is aiming the scholarship at education majors from several Southern Illinois counties.
Caption 2: Giving back – Ronald E. Gholson, front left, a three-degree graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, recently established a memorial scholarship in his parents’ names. Gholson, who spent 35 years in education, including 25 years as a professor at Eastern Illinois University, is aiming the scholarship at education majors from several Southern Illinois counties. He is pictured here (front row, from left) with his father, Rex R.Gholson, and Phyllis Ann Gholson Ego Cox. Pictured in the second row, (from left), are his mother, Mary Ann Gholson, William R. Gholson, and Phillp F. Gholson.