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Union City Rotary Club ready to reward students

Union City Rotary Club ready to reward students
Union City Rotary Club ready to reward students | Union City Rotary Club ready to reward students

Union City Rotary Club Scholarship Committee members Steve Vaughn (left) and Kurt Baggett say their organization is already hard at work preparing to review applications
Scholarship committee volunteers are already hard at work making plans for the 31st year the Union City Rotary Club has awarded financial assistance for high school graduates from Obion County to further their education.
Building on a long history of success in encouraging preparation for the world beyond students’ doorsteps through enrollment in colleges, universities and technical schools, the local Rotary Club is anticipating another banner year. In 2011, businesses and individuals from Obion County donated more than $130,000 to award for scholarships in Obion County. In addition, more than $140,000 in scholarships was awarded from the Verhine Endowment, for a total of more than $270,000 to benefit students from Obion County.
“We are certainly thankful to all these donors for their interest in giving back to the community,” says Rotary Club Scholarship chairman Roger Williams. “Without them, there would be no scholarship program.”
Enrollment for Union City Rotary Club scholarships is currently open until April 15, Williams notes. Applications can be obtained from the Union City Rotary website at Applicants are encouraged to print and keep a hard copy of the application, but this year no hard copies of documents will be accepted by the scholarship committee. All applications must be completed online and all supporting documentation requested must be scanned and attached to the online application electronically.
Failure to submit the required documentation will result in that application’s not being considered. Any questions about the application process should be submitted by email to
Who qualifies?
Scholarships from the Union City Rotary Club are awarded primarily on the basis of financial need; however, there are a very limited number of scholarships based on scholastic achievement and/or study in a particular field. The scholarship committee always considers financial need first and the students are ranked according to this need; then, for high school seniors, the committee must give consideration to the student’s interview. The third criterion is centered around any special requirement of the donor’s scholarship that needs to be considered to determine the final award selection.
To be eligible for a regular Rotary Scholarship, a student must be a resident of Obion County; must currently be a senior at Union City, Obion County Central or South Fulton highs schools; or must be an upper classman in an accredited university, college or technical school.
Eligibility for a Rotary Verhine Scholarship requires that a student must have graduated from UCHS and must be in a position to have completed at least one year of post-secondary education at a qualifying institution by the time the scholarship money will be awarded.
Types of scholarships
The Union City Rotary Club Scholarship Program is divided into three categories. The first is the traditional Rotary Scholarship that was began in 1982 and is available to graduating seniors from UCHS, OCCHS and SFHS for post-secondary education at qualifying colleges, universities and technical schools. The second category is for upper classmen in qualifying colleges, universities and technical schools who are residents of Obion County.
Both of these first two categories are privately funded by donations and endowments from business and individuals from Obion County.
Third is the Verhine Scholarship fund, endowed with $3.2 million from the F. Fern Verhine Trust, which is available only to upper classmen in qualifying colleges, universities and technical schools who are graduates of UCHS.
Since 1982 the Union City Rotary Club has helped more than 2,900 students from Obion County and awarded $4,126,435 in scholarships.
The Rotary Scholarship Committee is chaired by Williams and includes Steve Vaughn, Richard Graham, Gary Houston, Bob Regen, Clint Joiner, Barry Keathley, Al Creswell, Dave Schlager, Tim Shanks, Kurt Baggett and Kevin Herrell. Many other Rotarians give of their time to help make this program the huge success that it is.
Any individual or company that wishes to establish a scholarship through the Union City Rotary Club Foundation is welcome to participate and may get further details by emailing their request to
Rotary’s history
Rotary Club International was founded in 1905, with the first club in Chicago, and has since grown worldwide to include clubs in 167 countries with 1.2 million members. Members of the Rotary Club are a diverse group of professional leaders working to address various community and international service needs and to promote peace and understanding throughout the world.
The Union City Rotary Club was chartered Sept. 2, 1936, and now has approximately 140 members.
In 1982 when Gus White, one of the club’s charter members and a past district governor, passed away, a trust fund of $10,000 was set up for a scholarship in his memory. Then another Rotarian, Hardy Graham, started a trust fund for scholarships with a $1,000 donation.
In 1983 the former Old & Third National Bank, now Commercial Bank, gained responsibility for a trust fund that had been left in a will for scholarships. The trust officer, John Pylant, asked if the bank could combine forces with the Rotary Club to make the processing of applicants easier, and thus began the Union City Rotary Club Scholarship Program.
Today Union City Rotary Foundation is registered as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Published in The Messenger 3.5.12