Who Was Myrtle Beard and What is the Myrtle Beard Scholarship?
It is spring time and this is when we usually hear the name Myrtle Beard and something about scholarships.
For many years our church has been blessed with the opportunity to provide financial assistance to one or more of our youth who are graduating from high school. The Myrtle Beard Scholarship was first awarded in 1987 and as of last year there have been a total of 52 scholarships awarded. These members of our youth department have received over $81,000 in financial aid to assist them with college expenses.
Thirty-seven years ago, in 1987 when the Myrtle Beard Scholarship was first awarded, there were three recipients; Rebecca Bengston, Amy Chiabotta, and Stephen Mayhew The idea for a scholarship fund was conceived three years earlier by action of the Education Committee. With initial funds raised church-wide in 1984 and placed in an interest bearing account, the plan was to use the interest earned to provide for scholarships. In more recent times, interest rates have been very low, so the scholarships are contingent on special giving by church members. A committee of church members screens applicants before prayerfully making the award(s). As of last year, there have been 52 recipients of the Myrtle Beard Scholarship.
But, who was Myrtle Beard? Until she retired in 1956, Myrtle Beard was an Irving ISD teacher. She had a love for reading and learning. In 1949, she moved to Irving with her husband John (who passed away in 1972). As a member of our church she served in many different volunteer roles and was instrumental in organizing a space for a library so children and youth could find books that fit their age group. Several years later when church expansion was completed she served as the church librarian in the new Lindsey Library. She was active in Irving arts and garden clubs as well as the Ladies Lions Club. Myrtle Beard was a member of the Education Committee when plans were made to raise funds for scholarships for our graduating seniors. It was her love of learning that precipitated her final wish to assist graduating seniors from our church with college expenses. Myrtle Beard passed away in August 1984. In September 1984, the Education Committee voted to name the planned scholarships The Myrtle Beard Scholarship.
Since the passing of Myrtle Beard in 1984, the many others who have contributed to the Myrtle Beard Scholarship Fund each year have been instrumental in the continuation of the annual award(s) to our high school graduates.