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Grad Bequests Endowment

From The Daily Star, September 16, 2008

Staff Report

An English teacher who wanted her passion to reach tomorrow’s students has left a $2 million endowment for scholarships at the State University College at Oneonta, a college official said Monday. The gift is the largest made to the college by one of its graduates.

The SUNY College at Oneonta Foundation has received $2 million from the estate of Dorothy Anderson Wemple of Johnstown, a 1936 alumna who died in November at the age of 92, said Paul J. Adamo, SUCO vice president for college advancement and executive director of the College Foundation.

The bequest will endow the Dorothy A. Wemple ’36 Scholarship for English and Adolescence Education English majors at the college, according to a media release from the college.

Scholarships will be awarded to 10 students in each undergraduate class level; freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

The first awards will be in the fall semester of 2009, starting with about 20 scholarships and increasing in following years to at least 40 awards annually, he said.

``What she has done is extremely generous,’’ Adamo said.

Wemple had a long career teaching English at Knox Junior High School in Johnstown, where she also served as chair of the English department until her retirement in 1974. In the same year, she received recognition from Outstanding Educators of America, based on her nomination by the school’s principal.

Wemple was an active alumna of SUCO, participating in events on campus and in the Capital District, Adamo said. She also was active in her community, serving with the Johnstown Council of Churches and as a member of the Johnstown Historical Society.

She was a 1932 graduate of Johnstown High School. Adamo said he had worked with Wemple for more than 10 years on developing the bequest and scholarship.

``She was direct, engaging and a lifelong learner,’’ he said. ``Mrs. Wemple was very enthusiastic about English as an academic major.’’

Wemple also was concerned about accessibility to education, Adamo said. About 75 percent of SUCO students receive a form of financial aid, he said, and the college has 290 students majoring in the two specified English study areas, he said.

``She would be very pleased to know that many students at Oneonta will study English and education,’’ he said.