FLORENCE, S.C. – The $30,000 Kirby Scholarship established in 2005 at Francis Marion University by John Kirby, superintendent of Dillon School District Three in Latta, has been increased to $50,000.
Kirby and his wife, Vicki, each received a B.S. degree from FMU in 1972. Each also went on to receive M.Ed. degrees from Francis Marion – John in 1979 and Vicki in 1982. Their son, Michael, is also an FMU graduate.
“My entire family has a real connection to Francis Marion,” Kirby said. “With the rising cost of tuition, books and gas, we saw an opportunity to give something back to the university and to students who are also pursuing education as a profession.”
The scholarship was permanently endowed initially in the amount of $30,000 and will now be increased by $20,000. This is not the only donation made to FMU by Kirby. In fact, the Kirby Scholarship replaces the John and Vicki Kirby Teacher Scholarship, which was founded in 1998 and provided two annual $500 awards.
“I am so proud of my friends, John and Vicki Kirby,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “Not only have they devoted their own careers to teaching, but they have given very generously of their resources so that others have the opportunity to enter the education profession.”
The Kirby Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior in the teacher education program. The recipient must be a graduate of Latta High School. If no Latta High School graduate is eligible, then the recipient can be any qualifying graduate of any South Carolina public high school. The recipient must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Financial need will be considered, and the award may be renewed from the junior to the senior year.
Not only has Kirby been benevolent with personal gifts, but he has been instrumental in helping to establish numerous annual and endowed scholarships throughout FMU’s “Campaign for Excellence.”
In addition, Kirby has established $30,000 endowed scholarships at Florence-Darlington Technical College and Northeastern Technical College to be awarded to graduates of Latta High School or other community members. The scholarships are to be used to defray the cost of tuition, books and transportation associated with attending these institutions.
#192 / 6-5-07 / L, R