Millersville University recently received a generous gift of $500,000 from James C. Ebbert, a 1941 alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in education.

When Ebbert died on Dec. 26, 2007, at the age of 90, he left the university the gift to fund scholarships for education students.

Millersville University’s Vice President of Advancement, Jerry Eckert, who oversees external fundraising, said that at one time, state support of the university was 100 percent, but now state support is about 38 percent of the budget; so the University raises additional money for scholarships to keep the cost of education down.

“People who have contributed like Ebbert, intended to make a better society by providing the means for students to have a higher education at Millersville University,” said Eckert.

The gift has been endowed, according to Eckert, which means that the money is invested to accrue interest at about eight percent, and a portion is added back to the original gift to make it grow, while another portion of the interest earned is awarded as scholarships annually.

Eckert said about $25,000 of scholarships will be available beginning next fall for students studying in the department of education.

Ebbert taught for five years before buying out the former K&L Lumber Co. and worked
there for 36 years. He did not specify whether the scholarships should be need  or merit based, Dean of Education, Dr. Jane S. Bray will be determining how these awards will be distributed.

Ebbert’s generosity and commitment to community was a part of his life,  while he served on the Board of Directors at St. Lukes Hospital in Quakertown, Pa. for 30 years, until 1995,  the contributions from his estate to Millersville University will help students for years to come.