The Morris Educational Foundation (MEF) announced today the receipt of its largest individual gift for the establishment of an endowed scholarship.

The MEF has announced a $650,000 donation from the estate of Carl George and Shirley L. Eklund, alumni of Morristown High School Class of 1939, for the establishment of The Eklund Scholarship Fund, the largest endowed scholarship fund in support of Morristown High School students.

The scholarship will be awarded to a junior or senior student who demonstrates financial need and eagerness to pursue a career in teaching, preferably at the secondary level. Applicants are encouraged to apply in their junior year, as the award of this scholarship will impact their college decision-­‐making process.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this amazing gift,” said Molly Servais, Chairperson of the Morris Educational Foundation. “We are committed to growing resources that impact the lives of our students and this includes our scholarship endowment,” she added. “The Eklund Scholarship Fund is the largest single gift ever made to the MEF and we are honored to administer this scholarship in perpetuity,” Servais continued.

“Philanthropic giving plays a critical role in advancing the work that we do here at the Morris Educational Foundation,” Servais said. “The generosity of loyal alumni like George and Shirley is humbling.”

“We are grateful for our district partner, the Morris Educational Foundation, who continues to attract donations in support of our students and programs,” said Dr. Thomas Ficarra, Superintendent of the Morris School District. “We are pleased to collaborate with the MEF on several initiatives that have great impact on the lives of our students.”

Carl George Eklund graduated Morristown High School as an honors student. The 1939 Morristown High School yearbook, the Cobbonian, referred to him by the nickname “Bing” and states, “The Class of ’39 is proud to claim him as one of its members.” After graduation, George joined the Army. In 1942 George married MHS classmate, Shirley Lanterman. Following an

honorable discharge from the army in 1945 George began a distinguished and successful 40-­‐ year career with the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. An avid swimmer, George pursued numerous other interests throughout his life, including sailing, archery, woodworking, gardening, and singing.

The ’39 Cobbonian recognized Shirley Lanterman “as an outstanding commercial student” who was engaged in many extra-­‐curricular activities, including the music program. Shirley joined the Warner-­‐Lambert Company in 1949, serving as an executive secretary for 32 years, retiring in 1981.

Glenn Redbord, of Salny Redbord and Rinaldi, longtime friend and attorney for Carl George and Shirley L. Eklund, said, “Education and music were both very important to George and Shirley. He was very accomplished and even taught himself to swim by reading a book by Johnny Weissmuller. I have many fond memories of talking with George and Shirley about their wishes in establishing a legacy at the high school to benefit generations of students. I truly miss them.” Redbord added, “George and Shirley were Morristown High School sweethearts.”

The Eklund Scholarship caps decades of support for Morristown High School by these two dedicated and generous alumni. The Alumni Association of Morristown High School was among many non-­‐profit or charitable organizations supported by George and Shirley Eklund during their lifetimes. The Morris Educational Foundation is proud of its partnership with the 129-­‐year-­‐old Alumni Association in support of MHS and the Morris School District.

“The Eklund Scholarship Fund represents a life-­‐changing opportunity for a qualified student who will pursue a career in teaching,” said Mark Manning, Principal of Morristown High School. “Because this scholarship is designated specifically for a future teacher who over time will touch the hearts and minds of thousands of students, this gift will benefit generations to come,” he said.

The new Eklund Scholarship Fund will be available in spring 2014. It will be awarded to a qualified student who requires financial assistance in order to pursue a career in teaching. More information and applications for prospective students will be available after February 1, 2014, in the Guidance Office of Morristown High School. The student will be selected by the Morris Educational Foundation’s Eklund Scholarship Committee.

The Morris Educational Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) that seeks to attract private resources to support a variety of educational programs and initiatives in support of the Morris School District. Through effective solicitation and distribution of funds, the Morris Educational Foundation helps enable the District to continue to be the model of visionary social and educational leadership it has been since its inception. For more information, visit the website at www.morrisedfoundation.org.
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