Robert Moton graduates raise $66,000 for scholarship program

Endowment will be set up

campaign began in 1973

July 06, 1999|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

For more than two decades, alumni of the former Robert Moton School have encouraged young African-Americans in Carroll County to embrace the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s love for learning by awarding scholarships to local youths.

Fueled by King's passion and memories of their tiny clapboard school, once the only school for African-Americans in Carroll, the aging graduates have been working to raise enough money to set up an endowment that will carry on their work for future generations.

Since 1973, they have been holding annual events -- a King breakfast each January and a dinner-dance each spring -- to solicit support. Twenty-six years of dedication have finally paid off.

"We've reached our goal," said state Treasurer Richard N. Dixon, president of the Former Students and Friends of Robert Moton School Inc. The group has more than $66,000, he said. That's about $1,000 more than needed to set up an endowment.

"I'm extremely happy," Dixon said. "This will allow the Friends of Robert Moton to continue to award scholarships long after we are dead and gone."

What began with a single $500 scholarship in 1974 has grown to include as many as five $1,000 scholarships each year. Over 25 years, former pupils of Robert Moton have helped 82 high school graduates go to college or trade school. This year, they will award scholarships to four students.

In the future, Dixon hopes to expand the scholarship program to include one student from each of the high schools planned for Westminster and South Carroll. Those schools are slated to open in the next three years.

Expansion would require additional funding, Dixon said, so he is seeking another $10,000 for the endowment.

Robert Moton School, named for the black Virginia educator who headed Tuskegee Institute from 1915 to 1935, was a 12-grade school in Westminster for blacks. The school opened in 1930 with 60 pupils. It was closed in 1965. Its building is part of the Carroll Community College campus.

For information or to make a contribution, call Ralph Hooper, treasurer of the Former Students and Friends of Robert Moton School Inc., at 410-876-5430 or Dixon at 410 848-6943.

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