Ann Morey knows the value of a kind gesture — the kind that is impossible to forget. It happened when she was studying art at Penn State.
“In 1958 as a freshman, I didn’t have enough funds to make it," she said. "Then, astonishingly, a school counselor said to me, ‘An anonymous donor is giving you $500 a year.’ That was one-third of the total of my tuition and room and board. It was an incredible gift to me, and I didn’t know who or why.”
She tried numerous times to find out who this person was, so that she could express her gratitude. But it wasn’t until her junior year that she finally convinced a school counselor to divulge the secret. It was a high school teacher, Mr. Schmidt, whom she impressed one afternoon by staying very late after school to help create posters for a fundraiser.
“He offered to pay me, and I declined,” Morey said. “He never forgot that.”
Today, decades later, Morey is paying it forward.
“I’d like to give back for Mr. Schmidt because of his kindness to me,” she said.
To do so, she has established the Ann Intili Morey Art Scholarship Fund through the Greater Pike Community Foundation.
The fund will grant one or more annual scholarships to seniors in Delaware Valley, Wallenpaupack and Port Jervis high schools who plan to major in fine or applied art while attending a two- or four-year accredited college or university. The grant could be as much as $5,000. The student will have to demonstrate financial need and submit an art portfolio to be judged by a small committee.
Morey is inspired by the younger generation.
"I’ve been impressed by the creativity of youth," she said, "their ability to perceive and express and, in some cases, to apply. There’s an endless stream of new ideas and expressions, and I always find it renewing and refreshing.”
An enduring connection to Pike County
Morey is originally from Short Hills, N.J., and has been a California resident since 1965. But Pike County has a special meaning for her.
“I set up the fund with Greater Pike because Milford was like my second home for 35 years when I visited my dear friend Dick Snyder,” she said. “So it is also in his memory.”
Snyder, who died in 2014, was a founding member of the board of the Greater Pike Community Foundation. Morey is also a board member and served as trustee of Snyder’s Charitable Remainder Trust that left over $2.3 million to Greater Pike.
Morey has doctorate from University of California at Berkeley in organizational theory applied to higher education. Upon retirement, Morey was Dean of the College of Education and Distinguished Research Professor at San Diego State University. She is author of more than 200 books and articles on higher education, diversity, and teacher education. She has served as leader and member of numerous international, national, and state non-profit boards and commissions.
Greater Pike helps individuals, families and local businesses to provide a permanent and personal way to give back to the community. For more information contact Jenni Hamill, executive director, at 570-832-4686 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit greaterpike.org and Facebook.com/GreaterPike.