The PSU Foundation relies on donations in order to fund various needs of the university, such as scholarships, facilities, and faculty development. Their most recent donation came from the Pritchett Trust, an award of $50,000 for student scholarships.
William B. Pritchett, a World War I veteran, and his wife, Athlyn C. Pritchett, contributed substantially to Pittsburg during their lifetime, but the community continues to reap benefits from their generosity thanks to a trust fund established in 1994 after their deaths.
“The Pritchett’s were a Pittsburg couple that worked very hard in the Pittsburg community, and in their estate plans they created a fund to give back to Crawford County, so for the benefit of children and families of Crawford County,” Kathleen Flannery, president and CEO of the PSU Foundation and vice president of University Advancement. “They worked very hard to amass some wealth over time.”
The Pritchetts’ wealth came from their insurance agency they formerly operated in Pittsburg as well as investments in oil and gas leases in Kansas and Oklahoma in the 1930s and 1940s. Their trust fund has awarded millions of dollars to individuals and organizations in Crawford County since 1995.
“… There are beneficiaries from the Pittsburg area from the YMCA to all the local schools, to the library, to the museum, and of course to Pittsburg State University,” Flannery said. “We’ve written grants to them for many years and they’ve been very generous to support us for scholarships because at PSU we want to make sure that higher education is accessible in general. …”
BMO Harris bank manages the trust, and a local advisory council of community volunteers reviews grant proposals before selecting which ones to award.
“We write requests for proposals and we submit them and they look at all the proposals over the course of the summer and then notify us if we have been able to be the beneficiaries of one of their grants,” Flannery said.
The recent award of $50,000 will go toward scholarships for high school students from one of the six area high schools.
“We want our local students to be able to have a higher education locally, and so that accessibility is key,” Flannery said. “And then hopefully they will stick around the Pittsburg area once they graduate and raise their families and work hard, create businesses, work in the community, and then eventually give back just like the Pritchetts did.”
The Pritchett Trust scholarship fund will provide tremendous support for future Pitt State students, but it is only one of many donations the PSU Foundation receives that benefit the university.
“The PSU Foundation has so many loyal donors, and we accept from individuals, from companies, and of course from foundations like the Pritchett’s,” Flannery said. “That is true philanthropy, when people give gifts and expect nothing in return and want our students to succeed, so that is what the PSU Foundation is all about, to support all our students and the programs of the university. … We’re very grateful to all of our donors and we’re very happy when our students are the beneficiaries.”