The Scholarship Program began in May of 1988 with a donation of $20,000 and has grown to be in excess of a half million dollars. Since 2002, scholarship awards have exceeded $100,000 every year. We can help you establish a scholarship as a memorial to honor a loved one, a teacher or an individual who has been a mentor to you or your family. This award can be specific, focusing on a career, a discipline, an interest or a vocation, or it might be completely open for the student's particular need. You might consider this a great opportunity to support your high school alma mater or to create a scholarship for a specific college or university.

Any additional questions should be directed to the attention of Barbara Kistler, Administrative Assistant at the Foundation office.

Scholarship Histories

Everett & Ella Adrian 1992:  Catholic parish scholarship via St. Mary (Fairfield), SS Joseph/Cabrini (Richland/Pleasant Plain) and Holy Trinity (Keota) Parishes.  This is a 30 year scholarship ending in 2021. Mrs. Adrian established this in memory of her husband, and her own teaching career which began in 1922 and ended with her retirement in 1972, when she was a teacher at the Fairfield Middle School. The scholarship is to go to one graduating senior from each of the above mentioned parishes.

Sherry Champ 1997:  Sherry was a nurse at Jefferson County Hospital for over 25 years and a former FHS graduate.  She was dedicated to the nursing profession and had attained a very high status within the hospital. Her family wished to provide an ongoing scholarship for a graduating high school senior from the Jefferson County Area Schools.  This scholarship is to be used for a student pursuing a career in the medical field: Medicine, Health Services, Health Occupation; General Medicine or Veterinary Medicine.

Pete & Fern Crafton 2010:  The Crafton's lived their lives in Fairfield and Jefferson County.  Fern worked at Louden Machinery Company her entire adult life, and as a homemaker, being raised on a farm in the Glasgow community of Jefferson County. Pete worked 51 years at Fairfield Glove Company.  This scholarship is for a graduating senior attending a university, college, community college or technical school located outside Jefferson County and based on need. Look at attitude and motivation of the student and the ability for them to achieve success in their chosen field of advanced education. This is an open scholarship.

Andrew & Dorothy Pohren Crile 2006:  The Crile's lived their life in Jefferson County. Through hard work and good management they became successful farmers. They both enjoyed working with young people and were involved with the local 4-H clubs for many years. Their daughter, Betty, taught elementary school for 30 years and was very interested in education. The student must show the ability to succeed at the college level, and show a need for the scholarship funds. This scholarship can be renewed for four years, provided the recipient maintains a 2.5 grade average as a full-time student at college or university.

Fairfield Alumni 1990:  This scholarship is to assist a graduating senior in meeting financial needs as they pursue a higher education.  The scholarship is presented annually based on need, citizenship and academic standing.  It is an open scholarship, not limited to any one discipline. Periodic contributions, generally free-will offerings during annual class reunions, both by Fairfield Alumni and the Parsons College Alumni Association, in donating their scholarship endowment to this scholarship.

Roman & Evelyn Gevock 2010:  This Scholarship was begun by Roman and his family after Evelyn’s death from Alzheimer’s and the turned over to the Foundation following Roman’s death in July 2010. Both Roman and Evelyn were teachers of life to their children and their families, and were the best of friends to their community. Evelyn was an elementary educator for 30 years and Roman a successful and dedicated Jefferson County farmer.  Evelyn was chosen Reading Teacher of the Year 1989-1990 for the Jefferson/Van Buren Reading Council of Iowa Reading Association. Both Roman and Evelyn were active in their church, and community, taking leading roles as leaders and workers. Priority is to a student going into the education or medical field. Scholarship awarded based on financial need, not necessarily grade point average.

John Jackson Instrumental Music 2006:  John Jackson was a long time businessman in Jefferson County. He was a member of the 34th Army National Guard Band for 50 years and played in many dance bands over the years. This scholarship has been established to help a current FHS graduate attend a college or university of their choice to major in instrumental music and participate in marching band or concert band at the post-secondary level.

Scott Jordan Memorial Scholarship  1997:  Scott Jordan was born and raised in Fairfield, and is the fourth generation of his family in this community. In 1940, after graduation from the University of Iowa Law School, he joined his father’s law practice and spanned fifty years, with time out for military service. The Jordan family was always interested in community service. They were actively involved in religious, educational and financial institutions as well as other aspects of quality community life. It was Mr. Jordan’s wish to provide this scholarship to assist deserving students in fulfilling their higher education goals. The scholarship is made available to students who excelled in the areas of attitude, motivation, and ability to succeed.

Jim Leyden Memorial Teaching Scholarship 2004: Jim “Lefty” Leyden was a Fairfield resident and a 30 year elementary teacher in Ottumwa Community School District. He knew what a burden it can be to pursue a Master’s degree while raising a family. Jim’s family as established a scholarship through the Greater Jefferson County Foundation in his name and it has been designed to help any certified staff employee of the FCSD pursue a Master’s Degree and will assist with tuition payment, with special consideration to applicants with a family.

Medical Scholarship 1997: A long-time local resident presented this substantial gift anonymously to the Greater Jefferson County Foundation. The donor and spouse had no children of their own, but always felt close to the youth in the community. The scholarship is an ongoing commitment to a FHS graduate who has shown an interest in the field of medicine or health occupations.

Leo L. and Marion M. Nady – Ag/Business Memorial Scholarship 1993: Given by their children, both Mr. and Mrs. Nady were lifelong residents of Jefferson County. For many years they owned and operated a farm adjacent to Fairfield. They were active church members, interested in antique furniture and music. The scholarship is to be used in the field of agriculture or business.

Marion M. Nady Music Memorial Scholarship 1992: Miss Nady was born in Jefferson County and graduated from Fairfield High School with the class of 1922. See received a Bachelor of Music Degree from Parsons College with special areas of studies, including music and organ. Although her love of music was deep, even deeper was her interest in helping young people. It is with the knowledge of this interest and caring that this scholarship has been established.

Nellie T. Neff Memorial Scholarship 1994: Mrs. Neff was a Physical Education instructor in Cleveland, OH Public Schools for fourteen years. During that time, she excelled in field hockey and other sporting activities. She married Julius C Neff in 1945 and developed a love of gardening and horticulture. She was actively involved in the Western Reserve Chapter of the Herb Society of America, where she earned the highest award presented by that organization. Mrs. Neff was president of the chapter when a new herb garden was constructed that earned national recognition. It is located adjacent to the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland. This scholarship assists students going into the field of physical education, horticulture or biology.

Ralph Perry Trust Memorial Scholarships 2002: Ralph Perry was a long-time businessman and community leader of Fairfield. He owned Perry Clothing for many years and was an avid Hawkeye football fan. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Iowa State Bank & Trust Company. Ralph and his wife had one daughter, Mary Ann, and she preceded Ralph in death. At that time Ralph reached a decision to leave his entire estate to the Greater Jefferson County Foundation to provide scholarships to FHS graduating seniors. The scholarship is based on financial need and factors indicating the recipient’s promise in pursuing further education or training, including but not limited to, scholastic performance and vocational preferences.

Grace Roberts Nursing Scholarship 2008: Mrs. Roberts graduated from Fairfield High School in 1927 and St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1930. She worked at St. Joseph Hospital in the early 30’s. Then in the 1940’s, she and her husband operated bus depots in Ottumwa, Iowa City and the Fairfield Hotel. From 1948 to 1952, they owned/operated the Lakeview Motel, restaurant and gas station in Yukon, OK. They came back in 1952 to help care for Grace’s parents. She was a nurse at the Van Buren County Hospital from 1955 to 1971 until her retirement. Grace passed away in 2006, but it was her desire to help students wishing to pursue a career in the field of nursing with the annual scholarship.

Hazel Scovel Samuelson Memorial Scholarship 1988: Mrs. Samuelson was a long-time employee of the Jefferson County Superintendent’s Office. She was an excellent employee with a great interest in young people. This scholarship was established by her sister in 1988, the first of the Foundation’s scholarships, in order to assist graduating students in the field of teaching, other than coaching and physical education.

Jack and Ruth Sellars Scholarships: Jack and Ruth Sellars, lifetime residents of Fairfield, did not designate a specific area or discipline regarding a scholarship, therefore the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee created two separate scholarships in memory of these two remarkable individuals: the Jack Sellars Career/Tech Scholarships, of which two are awarded annually, and the Ruth Sellars Open Scholarship. Jack’s scholarship emphasis is focused on those seeking a technical education with first choice going to a student who has attended the Fairfield Area Career Academy. Ruth’s scholarship is for an outstanding FHS student with an emphasis on community involvement. Mr. Sellars was born in Keokuk County and rode his pony to school, graduating from Richland High School. He served with the US Army Signal Corps in WWII. Mr. Sellars worked at the Dexter Company in Fairfield for 30 years, and was part of a group of executives involved in bringing the Dexter Company ownership back to Fairfield. Mrs. Sellars was a longtime legal secretary with the Scott Jordan law firm. They were both actively involved in the Fairfield community and their memberships included First United Methodist Church, TTT, Lions, and they played in a four couple group of bridge players for more than 50 years. Although no children of their own, they were devoted to each other. Mrs. Sellars died within 3 weeks of her husband of a broken heart, according to their minister.

Turner Teaching Scholarship 2012: Both Harold and Catherine Turner lived full lives dedicated to education. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 from Carthage College, then a Master of Education in 1951 from the University of Illinois and finished at George Peabody College (Vanderbilt University) where he completed his Doctorate in Education in secondary supervision and curriculum in 1956. Catherine supported his efforts, typed his papers and worked a variety of jobs as an executive secretary while he pursued his education. She retired in 1982 after 17 years at Monsanto. Mr. Turner began his professional career in 1956 in Lakewood, CO. Years followed at the University of North Texas, Sacramento, CA, and the University of St. Louis, from where he retired in 1985. This scholarship is for the faculty of FHS who is enrolled in a directed program to complete and advanced degree in the field of education.

Jeanne Thoma Scholarship 2008: Jeanne Thoma was a devoted wife, mother, and educator. A graduate of the University of Iowa, she first came to Fairfield in 1929 to teach Math and English. Following the death of her husband in 1959, she returned to FHS where she was a Guidance Counselor until her retirement in 1973. As a counselor, Jeanne encouraged students to pursue their educations beyond high school and was instrumental in helping many students receive scholarship monies to attend college or trade school. In addition to being a founding board member for the FHS Wall of Honor, Jeanne was also very active in the Fairfield community. She was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority, Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Sorority, American Association of University of Women, Child Abuse Board, The Greater Jefferson County Foundation Scholarship Committee, Fairfield Women’s Club, Lionels, PEO, Fairfield Golf & Country Club and First Presbyterian Church. This scholarship, in her memory, has been established to help a current Fairfield Community High School graduate attend a college, university, or trade school of their choice to obtain the necessary education to meet their career goals. Factors considered in determining the recipient include: GPA, Need, and Participation in extra-curricular activities that include School, Community, and Church. Greatest consideration is given to the student’s academic ability to complete an educational program beyond high school and their financial ability to pay for continuing education.

Karlena “Dub” Thoma Scholarship 1998: Dub was born and raised here, graduating from FHS I 1936 and Parsons College in 1940. She was a high school math teacher on both the East Coast and West Coast prior to returning to Fairfield to create the Gamrath and Thoma Insurance Agency in 1947. In 1970 she sold her interest in the agency and moved to Portland, OR, to pursue a real estate career and other business opportunities. The scholarship was created by Margaret M. Henderson to honor her friend of many years. Even in later years, Dub never lost her love of education nor her convictions that education was a lifetime pursuit, not only for career purposes but also for acquiring a sense of worth and integrity for making a difference in society. Dub left Fairfield in her retirement years, but Fairfield never left her. With deep family ties here, her formal education and working years were centered largely in Fairfield. This scholarship is awarded to a FHS student with strong math skills, attending a four-year college to pursue a career of math or related field and having a strong sense of and a commitment to community service.

Thoma-Williamson Educational Scholarship 1996: When Wilhelmina Thoma Williamson passed away, her husband, S. R. “Bob” Williamson and her children chose to create a scholarship honoring their Thoma and Williamson heritage. From the early 1900’s, these two families have demonstrated their commitment to education and community service in many ways. Bob’s father, Rev. Sam P. Williamson, ministered to the needs of many in the community, while Willie’s parents, Leo D. and Barbara Mae Thoma endeavored to enhance the cultural education of the community through their support to the Opera House. All the Thoma and Williamson offspring graduated from FHS and from college, most of them from Parsons College. The family’s involvement in the community has included Girl Scout Leader, serving on the School Board, creating the original endowment for the Fairfield Concert Association, providing the seed money for the current library, helping establish and endow the Educational Foundation of Fairfield Community Schools and numerous other endeavors. The desire of S. R. and Wilhelmina Thoma Williamson to honor their Thoma and Williamson families by creating a scholarship for deserving graduates of Fairfield High School who resides in Jefferson County. The scholarship was established to honor Rev. Sam P. and Helen Brammer Williamson and Leo D. and Barbara Mae Thoma and their descendants for their commitment to education and community involvement. Rev. Williamson was the minister at the First Christian Church from 1920’s to the 1950’s. Leo Thoma was a practicing attorney in the Fairfield community during the same era. Whether through individual comfort given to those in the hospital or home-bound or through assistance in providing classical musical exposure to the people of Fairfield, these two gentlemen and their wives took great pride in their community. They demonstrated this pride through involvement in the personal and communal well-being of the people of Fairfield. The criteria for eligibility for the Thoma-Williamson Scholarship follows the examples set by members of these families: The recipient must be a graduating senior of FHS who show the ability to succeed at the college level, and the recipient must demonstrate a sense of and commitment to the community involvement, using his or her talents and abilities for the benefit of or to provide enjoyment to others.

Robert Wiseman Memorial Scholarship 2002: This scholarship was created by Anna Wiseman in memory of her husband.   Bob was a great fan of FHS Trojan Wrestling and this scholarship was directed to go to a graduating FHS senior who has participated in varsity wrestling during their career at FHS.

Mary Witkosky Scholarship 1983-1997: Originally administrated by Mildred Hoover following Ms. Witkosky’s death in 1983, and then transferred to GJCF in 1997. Miss Witkosky taught Jr. High Math from 1949 through 1971. This scholarship focuses on the recipient’s interest in Math/Science exclusively.

Zillman Scholarship 1999: Carl and Mary Zillman were lifelong proponents of conservation. Carl served as a charter member of the Jefferson County Conservation Board from 1975. In 1981, Carl and Mary donated a sizeable Native American artifact collection to the Jefferson County Conservation Board (that is displayed in the Nature Center in Jefferson County Park). In 1986, they also donated 46 acres of land to the conservation board which is known as Zillman’s Hickory Hills. It has been used for passive outdoor recreation. The scholarship will assist a FHS graduating senior in advancing their education in the field of conservation, wildlife management or a related field.

Pass-through Scholarships:

The Dexter Company has provided pass-through scholarships to the GJCF. These scholarships go directly to high school graduating seniors who have a parent(s) who work for the Dexter Company. These are open scholarships.

Jefferson County Pork Producers emphasis is for a Pork Producer Member, but if no members apply, then second criteria is for a graduating FHS or Pekin student who will be studying in an Agriculture related field.