Jefferson College's First Non-Traditional Student Establishes Endowed Scholarship For Future Non-Traditional Students
To acknowledge their generous donation to create an endowed scholarship for non-traditional students, Branton and Jane Houser of DeSoto were recently inducted into the Foundation's Monticello society. Jane has the distinction of being the college’s first non-traditional student and the patriarch for several generations of family members who attended Jefferson. She considers attending Jefferson College a pivotal experience in her life. It also created a lasting legacy within her family. Three generations of the Houser family have attended and worked at Jefferson College, and Brant and Jane continue to be avid supporters of higher education. “I thought I was mature at 42, but college was what really gave me maturity,” she said. “It opened my eyes to new ways of thinking.”
“The enormous task undertaken by Dr. Charles McClain has benefitted many residents of Jefferson County, like myself, who otherwise would never have had the opportunity to expand their horizons and realize their dreams,” said Jane Houser, named the 2014 Jefferson College Alumnus of the Year.
For as long as she can remember, Houser wanted to attend college. When she graduated from Southwest High School in 1939 with a scholarship to Saint Louis University, her dream seemed within reach. However, circumstances required her to help contribute to the family income, and she went to work at Southwestern Bell Telephone. She married her husband Branton in 1948 and together they had four children.
It wasn’t until 1963 that news of a junior college coming to Jefferson County rekindled Jane’s dream of going to college. “Dr. Charles McClain, founder and first President of Jefferson College, created a junior college that would benefit anyone in Jefferson County who wanted to explore new avenues and expand their knowledge,” she said. Brant promised her that they would find a way for her to attend, and Jane watched Jefferson College being built with eager anticipation. Somehow they raised the tuition money. “All of our children were now in school,” said Jane. “They, including Brant, took over the household chores. I was free to concentrate on my studies. So at 42 years of age I became the first non-traditional student to enroll.”
Pictured above, from left, are Carrie Flesh (granddaughter), Brant Houser, Jane Houser, Jefferson College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey, and Executive Director of Development and Foundation Thomas Burke.
AT&T Proud to Support Education Program for Local Veterans
“As a 'veterans friendly' institution, Jefferson College is extremely proud and thankful to serve the brave men and women who have, in turn, served our country by defending the freedom we enjoy each day as Americans. Approximately 150 student veterans attend Jefferson College and rely on veteran benefits to help pay tuition, books, and living expenses. However, because veteran benefits are paid at varying times throughout each semester, it can create significant obstacles or hardships for our student veterans, particularly at the beginning of the semester,” said Dr. Raymond Cummiskey, President. “AT&T’s grant is a wonderful gift that lets us help support our student veterans as they pursue their goal of receiving a higher education.”
AT&T’s grant to Jefferson College provides support to student veterans in a number of ways. The grant establishes an emergency loan program for veterans who qualify for benefits but whose funding is delayed – allowing Jefferson College to extend financial support to veterans with extenuating circumstances. The grant also helps alleviate textbook costs for veterans. Rather than delaying textbook purchases until veterans receive their funding, which can arrive after the semester has already begun, the grant will help ensure that student veterans are ready for the first day of class. The third component of the grant establishes a “SALUTE” chapter, a national honor society recognizing academic achievement of student veterans and the military, at Jefferson College.
“From AT&T's extensive partnerships with disabled veteran-owned businesses and our aggressive recruitment of top military talent to our charitable contributions of more than $9 million worth of calling cards for military personnel, AT&T has been proud to support the military throughout AT&T's 137-year history," said John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri. “Every year, AT&T hires hundreds of military veterans because the self-discipline, teamwork and skills gained in military service are the same values that are part of our everyday culture. I am honored to continue AT&T’s tradition of proud support with this grant to Jefferson College for their student veterans.”
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
Spirit of St. Louis Barbershop Chorus Celebrates 75 Years with Scholarship Donation to Jefferson College Foundation
Maintaining their long-standing commitment toward providing opportunities for higher education in our community regarding vocal music, representatives of the Spirit of St. Louis Number One Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society recently presented an $800 donation to support a scholarship at Jefferson College. Pictured, from left, is Dr. Jim Raspberry (Music Director), Jefferson College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey, and Paul Ogle (Chapter President).
As the group celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2013 as the longest established chapter in the region, the Spirit of St. Louis Barbershop Chorus’ commitment to raise funds for Jefferson College student scholarships spans 14 years with a total contribution amount of over $7,000.
Each academic year, a scholarship is awarded on behalf of the chapter to an applicant who demonstrates need, is a high school graduate, intends to major or minor in vocal music, and has a minimum 3.0 grade point average.
College is Possible: Twin City Optimist Club Scholarship Donation Supports Jefferson College Students
In connection with their long-standing commitment toward providing higher education opportunities for area residents, representatives of the Twin City Area Optimist Club recently presented a $3,000 donation on behalf of its members to support scholarships at Jefferson College.
The Twin City Area Optimist Club’s commitment to raise funds for Jefferson College student scholarships started in 1995 and spans a total contribution amount of over $42,000.
“Generous donations such as this allow Jefferson College to help those in our community that might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and goals,” said College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey. “We’re pleased to partner with the Twin City Area Optimist Club to help our community, and those that live in it, discover a better future and a better quality of life through higher education.”
In the 2013-14 academic year, six scholarships will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate need, are residents of Jefferson County, and have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
Because of their generosity toward the college and its students, the club was recognized by the Jefferson College Foundation during the annual Monticello Society reception for distinguished donors.
Optimist International is an association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to “bringing out the best in kids.” Every year, Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects and serve well over six million young people.
Pictured, from left, are Executive Director of Development and Foundation Tom Burke, Twin City Area Optimist Club Scholarship Chairman Kathy Henson, Twin City Area Optimist Club President Barbara Schmidt, and Jefferson College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey.