In July this year, Rotarian Bill Adams was facing his final days with grace and dignity after a long struggle with a lung condition. Bill was a founding member of the Scholarship committee, a persistent and caring mentor, and active with the Scholarship Golf Classic. Seeking a way to honor Bill and his Rotary service, Peter Hitler, a longtime Rotarian and friend of Bill’s, called the Rotary office and very generously pledged $2,500 to open a scholarship in Bill’s name. In just a few days, other Rotarians and friends came forward and brought the total to nearly $15,000.
Because Bill’s friends acted swiftly, we were able to share the news of their generosity with Bill before he passed away on July 25th. Bill was very touched to find that his friends were honoring him with this scholarship fund, and personally called many of the donors to thank them. Bill’s enduring spirit continues to inspire his friends to generosity: just recently, an anonymous donor came forward with a further donation of $5,000, bringing the total of the Bill Adams Scholarship Fund to almost $20,000.
The RCM Scholarship committee looks forward to honoring Bill’s legacy by awarding the funds to deserving scholarship students in his name. The committee has not yet reached a decision on how to disburse the funds, as there are at least two ways for the committee to proceed with the scholarship.
The first would be to choose a student in 2014 and divide the balance in the scholarship fund to be given to him or her over four years – at this point, an extremely generous scholarship of $5,000 per year.
Alternatively, the club has a program for endowed scholarships that would enable an annual scholarship to be given in perpetuity. However, the minimum investment for an endowed scholarship is $50,000. Given the continuing generosity evinced by members, the committee hopes an endowed scholarship may still be possible. This would be the second endowed scholarship in the RCM Scholarship program; the first Gordon and Elizabeth Smith Scholarship was awarded this summer.