Record Number of CFO Scholarships Available

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is offering a record number of scholarships now open for applications from students across southern Missouri interested in pursuing advanced education opportunities.

This year’s scholarship awards and renewals, which are made possible by generous donors, are valued at nearly $760,000, up from about $600,000 in the 2010 scholarship cycle.

Information about the scholarship opportunities is available on our website, or students can contact their high-school counseling offices. Application deadlines vary, with the earliest due on March 1, 2011.

The CFO scholarships offer a wide range of opportunities for students interested in public or private colleges and universities, medical or nursing schools, vocational-technical education, and awards designated for students from specific high schools by alumni giving back to their communities.

The growth in this year’s scholarship program is related to several large bequests making first-time or additional scholarship awards, which demonstrate the impact that legacy gifts can have on the lives of students seeking to further their educations.

  • The Henry J. and Lucille J. Straus Scholarship Fund will offer eight new $5,000 annual awards, in addition to the existing 17 scholarships, following the death of Mr. Straus in April 2010 at the age of 102. These renewable scholarships are designated for students attending private universities in Missouri or elsewhere. Mr. and Mrs. Straus operated a successful drapery business in downtown Springfield for many years and Mrs. Straus was a graduate of Drury University. They decided to support private schools because those schools don’t receive taxpayer support. The criteria also stipulate that applicants should show no sign of any prejudice because Mr. Straus detested discrimination of any type.
  • An additional 16 $4,000 scholarships for college junior and senior education majors will be awarded for the Ozarks Teacher Corps, a nationally recognized initiative of the CFO’s Rural Schools Partnership. Students selected for the Ozarks Teacher Corps are asked to commit to teaching in a rural school district for at least three years after graduation. These scholarships are supported by the Henry J. and Lucille J. Straus Scholarship Fund and a $1.7 million bequest from the Chesley and Flora Lee Wallis Scholarship Fund.
  • The new Laverta Arnhart Jones Scholarship Fund will offer five $5,000 renewable scholarships this year specifically for students who live in Lawrence County and attend high school there, or have GED or home-schooled equivalencies. These are for students to attend either public or private universities. Bill Jones, a Lawrence County native who died in 2009, returned to his family’s Aurora homestead in the late ’80s after a career in St. Louis as a federal bank examiner and civilian computer programmer for both the U.S. Army and Jewish Hospital. He purchased a U.S. Savings Bond with each paycheck and only invested his money in certificates of deposit or money market accounts. Mr. Jones designated a portion of his estate worth about $1.4 million for a scholarship fund named for his mother, Laverta.

For more information about CFO scholarship programs, contact Judith Billings at; or call (417) 864-6199.