Local News

Community Foundation Receives Significant Scholarship Gift

Starr Schlobohm $1 Million Check PresentationThe Russell County Area Community Foundation announced Tuesday morning at Russell High School a $1 million gift from the Starr F. Schlobohm Trust to be added to the Joshua Scholarship Fund.

The Joshua Scholarship Fund was established by Dr. Starr F. Schlobohm in 2004 to benefit students graduating from a high school in Russell County. Scholarships are awarded through an application process to assist students attending a college, university or vocational or technical school. Upon his death in February 2012, the Starr F. Schlobohm Education Trust was established with a significant portion of his estate. He has directed the trust to continue to operate his oil and gas business to generate income to provide annual gifts to the Joshua Scholarship Fund.

"The scholarship celebrates academic achievement and encourages involvement in extra-curricular activities and out-of-school employment," said Angela Muller, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. "It also emphasizes good citizenship and character." The Joshua Fund was already the largest scholarship fund in the Foundation. Since inception, the Fund has awarded $46,125 in scholarships benefitting more than 70 students.

"Annual gifts from the trust will help the scholarship fund grow to significant levels with the hope that one day, all eligible students graduating from Russell High School can receive financial support to attend the college or technical school of their choice," said Muller.

Although Starr was a resident of New Hampshire, he spent a considerable amount of time in the Russell County area where he made many friends and business associations. Starr felt that his friends and associates in the Russell area contributed to his success, and he desired to share his success in the oil business with the Russell community through the scholarship fund.

Starr Schlobohm owned Starr F. Schlobohm Oil Operations and was the principal owner of Royal Drilling Inc. of Russell. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1952 with Highest Honors and was first in his class of 500. He received a doctorate degree in Marketing and Economics from New York University and was a professor of Economics and Business Administration at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School.

"Starr Schlobohm's life touched many people," said Rev. Roger Dennis, a member of the Community Foundation's board of directors. "His generosity and foresight have and will continue to open doors for many young people. For many in Russell, this unexpected financial support has been the difference in helping students and their families realize a dream."

The Russell County Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, was established to create a permanent source of philanthropy to address current and future community needs through grant making and partnerships.

"The Russell County Area Community Foundation was established by thoughtful members of the Russell area for just this purpose. To assist generous individuals and support causes they care about both in their lifetime and through legacy gifts," said Betsy Wearing, President of the Greater Salina Community Foundation. "Starr was an extraordinary person with a passion for helping young people reach their greatest potential. His gift will serve the youth of Russell County forever."

Since inception, the Community Foundation and its generous donors have awarded more than $1 million to meaningful causes and issues, such as education, the arts, historical preservation, and community development. The Community Foundation is the largest provider of grants and scholarships in the Russell County area.

For more information, contact Angela Muller at 785-445-3611.

Pictured above at a check presentation Tuesday morning at Russell High School are Schlobohm Estate Trustees Dennis Davidson and Shawn Evans, and in the middle holding the check, RCACF Executive Director Angela Muller.

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