News Release Details

2/24/2006

New scholarships honor past presidents of Eastern Arizona College

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Thatcher, AZ—The families of two past presidents of Eastern Arizona College have recently established scholarships in honor of their parents: The Dr. Dean and Phyllis Jones Curtis Scholarship and the Wayne M. and Barbara S. McGrath Memorial Scholarship.

All four individuals recognized by these scholarships were alumni of EAC and were very active in extracurricular activities such as student government, clubs, athletics and the fine arts.

As members of the Class of 1941 and 1942 Dean Curtis and Phyllis Jones Curtis enjoyed their experiences at Gila Junior College. Phyllis was the student body president during her second year at Eastern and continued her education with a Bachelor of Arts at San Diego State University. At Gila, Dean was busy with music, drama, sports and served as president of Lambda Delta Sigma. He also participated in the civilian pilot training program. He continued his education with a Bachelor of Science at Brigham Young University, Master of Arts at Stanford and a Doctorate of Education at Brigham Young University.

Dr. Dean Curtis became president of Eastern Arizona Junior College in 1966. During his tenure the College’s name was changed to Eastern Arizona College, representing a full community college preparing students for university transfer as well as vocational training. He helped establish the Eastern Arizona College Foundation.

This new scholarship praises his leadership in acquiring accreditation, expanding and recruiting faculty and completing the new South Campus including construction of the Fine Arts Center while serving as President of Eastern.

The children of Dean and Phyllis Curtis established this scholarship to honor the contributions made by their parents as students at Gila Junior College and their father as President of Eastern Arizona College. Students maintaining a full-time status with good grades may continue this scholarship for four semesters. Specific details are found in the College catalog. The College will make the first award for this scholarship for the 2006-2007 school year.

Wayne M. McGrath and Barbara Shumway McGrath were members of Eastern’s Class of 1956 and 1955. Wayne was the Freshman and Sophomore class president and played basketball for coach Bruce Larson. Barbara was active with Volleyball, worked as part of the Gila Monster newspaper staff, and served as vice president of the Las Amigas Club.

After graduating from Eastern, they married and continued their education at Northern Arizona University. In 1960, they returned to Eastern where Wayne became head basketball coach. In 1968, Wayne retired from coaching and became the Athletic Director. Later, he was appointed Director of Continuing Education. In 1970, he was promoted to Dean of Instruction and in 1974 he became Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1976, Wayne was named President of EAC and served as President of EAC until 1984.

Established to benefit the students and the community they love, this scholarship was started by the McGrath family. Students maintaining a full-time status with good grades may continue this scholarship for four semesters. Specific details for this scholarship are also found in the College catalog. The College will make the first award for this scholarship for the 2006-2007 school year.

“Eastern is collectively grateful for the service and loyalty both of these couples provided the College through the years and express appreciation to their families for making these scholarships possible.” Said Executive Director of EAC’s Foundation and Alumni Association, David Udall. “These scholarships will help many students obtain a great education available at Eastern, while keeping alive great memories in our school’s history.”