UNIVERSITY CENTER - A trio of Saginaw Valley State University student-athletes and another accomplished SVSU student were the recipients of private academic scholarships and honored on Wednesday (Sep. 16) evening at the University's 50th Anniversary Campaign Fundraising celebration, held at the Curtiss Banquet Halls on the campus of SVSU.
Emily Wendling, a junior forward on the SVSU women's basketball team, was named the recipient of the Edward B. Ted Morley Jr. Memorial Endowed Athletic Scholarship. Wendling is a Masters of Occupational Therapy major from Flushing, Michigan who holds a 3.850 cumulative GPA.
The Edward B. “Ted” Morley, Jr. Memorial Athletic Scholarship was established in 2000 by the Morley Foundation to recognize academic achievement by student-athletes and to encourage their continued development.
Edward B. “Ted” Morley, Jr. was a longtime president of the Morley Foundation. Under Ted’s direction, the Morley Foundation established an exceptional history of support for Saginaw Valley State University’s athletic programs, including Morley Field, SVSU’s outdoor track and field facility.
Ted Morley served on the SVSU Foundation Board of Directors; he was recognized by the university in 1987 with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Redshirt Freshman Dustin Pumford, a student-athlete on the SVSU men's golf team, earned the Ruth and A.R. O'Connor Memorial Golf Scholarship and the Al Watrous, Watrous Family and Marty Stark Golf Scholarship. Pumford is a Biology major with a 3.561 cumulative GPA and he stems locally from St. Charles, Michigan.
The Ruth and A.R. O’Connor Memorial Golf Scholarship was established by Ruth O’Connor’s family to honor her memory and the memory of her husband, A.R.
A non-traditional college student, Ruth O’Connor graduated from the SVSU College of Education in 1971, at the age of 58. She attended SVSU at the same time as her son, Richard.
Mrs. O’Connor’s grandfather started Bliss Alger Business College in Saginaw in 1885. In 1911, the college bought the International Business College in Saginaw and merged the curricula, creating the Saginaw Business Institute. Mrs. O’Connor graduated from the Business Institute in 1931 and from Bay City Junior College in 1933.
Mrs. O’Connor retired from teaching in the Saginaw area schools in 1976; she passed away in 2000, at the age of 87. Her husband, Richard, predeceased her in 1989. She was survived by her son, Richard, and daughters Nancy Bandeen and Patricia Schneider.
As a tribute to his good friend and teacher, Al Watrous, Martin Stark established this scholarship fund in 1998 to assist members of the SVSU golf team who demonstrate dedication to the game of golf during their high school and/or college years.
Martin H. “Marty” Stark was a longtime Saginaw businessman, philanthropist, and community booster. A graduate of Saginaw’s Arthur Hill High School, Mr. Stark founded Arrow Paper Products in 1948, serving as the company’s president until his retirement in 2000. Mr. Stark devoted much of his time to serving his community, for which he was honored with the Frank N. Andersen Spirit of Philanthropy Award and the Samuel H. Shaheen Vision of Free Enterprise Award.
An avid golfer, Mr. Stark credited his friend and mentor, Albert “Al” Watrous, with sparking his interest in the game that meant so much to him during his lifetime. Mr. Watrous was an excellent teacher of the game of golf, and was the professional at the Oakland Hills Country Club for 37 years. An outstanding player, Mr. Watrous was the runner-up to Bobby Jones in the 1926 British Open and was a three-time winner of the PGA Seniors’ Championship. Mr. Watrous won the Michigan Open a record six times (first in 1926 and last in 1949) and he won the Michigan PGA championship an incredible nine times. Mr. Watrous died in 1983.
Elayne Young, an incoming freshman softball student-athlete, received the James E. O'Neill Jr. Scholarship. Young is a Medical Laboratory Sciences major from Dekalb, Illinois.
The James E. O’Neill Jr. Scholarship was established in 1991 by Mr. O’Neill to encourage excellence in and provide assistance to student athletes.
James E. O’Neill, Jr., was a 1947 graduate of St. Mary’s Cathedral High School in Saginaw. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53. He earned a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Michigan in 1958.
Mr. O’Neill was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1966, and served there for 28 years until his retirement in 1994. Following his service in the Legislature, he worked for Saginaw Valley State University as a consultant for government relations and public affairs. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from SVSU in 1984.
Mr. O’Neill was elected to the Michigan Education Hall of Fame and the Catholic Schools Hall of Fame. He was a recipient of the Saginaw County Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. Mr. O’Neill served on the board of directors of the Field Neurosciences Institute and his daughter, Margaret, is on the staff at SVSU. Mr. O’Neill passed away in December 2002.
Saginaw Valley State University student Olivia Huebel was the recipient of the Abou Traore Memorial Scholarship. Huebel is a Nursing major who maintains a 3.974 cumulative GPA.
The scholarship honors Abou Traore, who was an international student who attended SVSU from 2005-2007. Sadly, Abou lost his life in a tragic accident before the start of the Fall 2007 semester. Abou was a pre-med major who dreamed of returning to his home country of Senegal as a doctor, to make a better life for his people. He was preparing to be a Resident Assistant for the 2007-2008 academic year.
Abou played soccer, worked for Campus Facilities and Dining Services, and was an important member of the International Student Club. Abou was treasured as a friend and brother by many SVSU students, respected by faculty and staff, and loved by all who knew him. Abou characterizes the concept of the “power of one” and the value placed on each member of our University community. He is remembered by his friends as embracing life with joy, living it fully, and without regret.
His friends at SVSU established the scholarship fund in 2007 and continue to raise funds to make more scholarships available to SVSU students in Abou’s name.