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Special scholarship available for Connellsville Area High School student

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

An educational opportunity for a Connellsville Area High School senior exists thanks to a 1931 University of Pittsburgh graduate who hails from Connellsville.

Elmer V. Gettys was a 1927 graduate of Connellsville High School and a 1931 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

In 1993, after a very successful career in business and as a practicing attorney in Ohio and Florida, he and his wife Jo established the Mary and Stanley Gettys Scholarship, in honor of his mother and father. The scholarship is through the University of Pittsburgh in the College of Business Administration.

The University of Pittsburgh will award one or more of the Gettys scholarships to Connellsville Area High School seniors accepted into the College of Business Administration at the Oakland main campus. The value of this scholarship is not a set dollar amount, but instead, is up to 75 percent of the cost of tuition, fees, room and board.

While some charges vary, these costs easily equal $25,000 for one year. The value of the scholarship could be as much as $18,750 per year. The scholarship may be renewed for up to a total of four years. While there is no guaranteed minimum dollar amount, the past practice of the university has been to award the scholarship at the 75 percent level of the costs.

Scholarship candidates must be applying to, and ultimately accepted at, the University of Pittsburgh main campus in the College of Business Administration. No other major field of study, Pitt branch campus, or other university qualifies for this scholarship.

Scholarship applications for the Mary and Stanley Gettys Scholarship are available in the guidance office of the Connellsville Area Senior High School. Applications must be submitted to the office as soon as possible.

Special notations or recommendations may be attached to the application or provided by the high school administration or guidance department. All applications will be forwarded to Connellsville Area Senior High School Scholarship Committee for the Mary and Stanley Gettys Scholarship for review and recommendation to the University of Pittsburgh. The University of Pittsburgh will have the sole responsibility for making the final scholarship selections and may require an additional application and / or interview.

Along with this application, students must submit a letter relating their personal goals, two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a teacher of the student, a copy of their acceptance letter from the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration and be available for interviews and publicity as requested.

The Gettys have been generous to several entities in Connellsville over the years.

“About a dozen years ago, Mr. Elmer Gettys came into the Carnegie Free Library, unannounced, and expressed an interest in the library as it was his venue for studying during his high school years in Connellsville,” said John Malone, president of the library Board of Directors. “When he came into the library and made an appointment to see me, I had no clue who he was as he had left Connellsville in 1928 to pursue college and his career which led him to northwestern Ohio. He felt strongly about the library and how important it was to him and his successes in life. He challenged the board at the time to match funds that he was giving us so that we could do some much needed remodeling that we couldn't afford.

“His generous donations have afforded the library the ability to complete renovations to the Gettys Room, which is now a showpiece of our library. He was like an angel that came out of nowhere to pump enthusiasm and a renewed interest into our community for our library,” Malone added.

Connellsville Boy Scout troops 101 and 119 receive funds each year from the trust established by Gettys, the Pittsburgh Foundation made $1,874 available for distribution from the Elmer V. Gettys Fund for 2013 and the monies were distributed based on membership.

There is also a scholarship for one Pitt graduate school student that was endowed by Elmer V. Gettys. Gettys passed away in December 2001.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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