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1962 Belle alum leaves $1.4M for scholarships

Published on January 3, 2019

1962 Belle alum leaves $1.4M for scholarships at Maries R-II, State Technical College


Linn MO – Following the wishes of their loved one, the family of Fred Schierloh has established two scholarships in Fred’s memory to benefit students at Maries County R-II Belle High School and State Technical College of Missouri at Linn. The two funds, with a combined total endowment of $1.4 million, are a part of the Meramec Regional Community Foundation portfolio, managed by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

“This is an incredible present to the students of this area,” Community Foundation of the Ozarks President Brian Fogle said. “It is truly a gift that lasts, and will keep on giving for many years to come by helping young people improve their lives through education.”

Fred was a 1962 graduate of Belle High School. From this experience plus his lifelong love of work and education, he was able to amass a wealth of which he wanted to share with students of the Belle community and those attending State Technical College.  Fred was an ambitious man with unique interests and an understanding of anything mechanical.  He also had a passion for the environment and how to perpetuate the natural habitat. Fred was the second child born Oct. 6, 1944, to August and Buelah Schierloh on a small farm near Belle, MO.  His surviving siblings are Sandra Eckert Stewart of Lake Winnebago, MO, and John Schierloh of Grand Rapids, MI.

Fred grew up working alongside his father on their farm south of Belle.  At a very young age, he was driving tractors, helping with livestock and loving to learn.  Fred was an exceptional student throughout his life. After attending the two-room Dixie Elementary School and Belle High School, he attended and received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Rolla School of Mines, now Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, MO, and later obtained his graduate degree in engineering from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

His education prepared him for a successful career in engineering.  He worked many years at General Motors, before transitioning to COSA Xentaur Corporation.  He then assisted the University of Toledo Technical College to develop its Technical Center while employed by the National Center for Tooling and Precision Components.  To complete each of these endeavors, Fred used his education as well as his natural talents and interests. His business acumen and finance knowledge also made him successful in real estate and other investments.

Fred’s avocations were primarily related to his farm in Ionia, MI.  Fred spent hours enjoying the wildlife on his farm.  He managed the natural habitat by planting specific vegetation and building a duck pond that would attract and sustain wildlife.  He was a glider pilot and an active member of the Adrian Soaring Club.  He regularly enjoyed flying gliders and having social interaction with members of the club.

Helga (Gruendler) Schierloh and Fred have two children, Elisabeth and Richard, and four grandchildren.  Fred’s longtime partner, Janice Collins, resides at their home in Temperance, MI.

Fred was generous and enjoyed being involved with his family and friends always attending special events for his own children, grandchildren, as well as, extended family and friends.

Fred was very interested in furthering the education of young adults.  He understood the reality that education is expensive and not all students have access to sufficient resources.  For that reason, he designated a portion of his accumulated wealth to finance scholarships for post high school education.

The endowment of these funds will enable the scholarships to be available for many future students graduating from Maries County R-II and others who may choose to attend State Technical College.  Some $800,000 has been designated to fund scholarships for students graduating from Maries County R-II in Belle, MO

An additional $600,000 has been designated for students attending State Technical College. Any student applying to State Tech, regardless of where they graduate in the United States, would be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

“We are so grateful for the Schierloh scholarship gift as it will offer students the opportunity to earn a life-changing degree at State Technical College of Missouri,” said Shannon Grus, vice president of advancement at State Technical College. “We also hope that this generous gift will encourage others to see the value of a technical education and consider making a scholarship commitment to encourage even more students to seek opportunities at State Tech.”

The first scholarships will be available to 2019 graduates of Belle High School and incoming students at State Technical College for the Fall of 2019. The Maries County R-II Schools Foundation Committee and The Foundation for State Technical College of Missouri, along with members of the Schierloh family, will make the selections for the scholarship recipients.

“By Fred’s gift, it is evident that he had fond memories of his alma mater and growing up in Belle,” said Jan Sassmann, chair of the Maries County R-II Schools Foundation. “These scholarships demonstrate Fred’s commitment to education and future generations. We thank Fred and the Schierloh family for their generosity and thoughtfulness. This is a tremendous gift to our students.”

One $3,000 scholarship will be available to a Belle High School graduate and one $5,000 scholarship will be available for a State Tech student in 2019.  As planned, these will be renewable scholarships, which means they will be available to the recipient for multiple years. In future years, the number of scholarships will increase.  As planned, Maries R-II schools will award two and three will be available for students at State Tech.

The two scholarship funds are now a part of the Meramec Regional Community Foundation (MRCF), an affiliate of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO).

“We’re honored that the Schierloh family has entrusted MRCF with these funds that can help our youth become leaders,” said MRCF Board President Vicki Lange, who represents Osage County on the regional board.

More information on applying for the Schierloh Family Scholarship will be announced in early 2019.

CFO will manage the investment and provide oversight of both scholarships.  CFO is a public foundation serving the Missouri Ozarks. The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the region through resource development, community grant-making, collaborations and public leadership. Formed in 1973, CFO has since grown to include 49 affiliate community foundations and more than 3,700 charitable funds totaling approximately $300 million in assets, as of June 30, 2018.

MRCF is an outgrowth of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) and is an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) in Springfield. The regional affiliate was formed in 2010 with the purpose of providing a vehicle for giving, building local resources, enhancing quality of life in the region, advocating for charitable giving, investing for future generations and promoting local philanthropy. Its 12-member board includes representation from each of the eight Meramec counties and from MRPC.

For more information on any of the funds established or how to establish a fund with MRCF, contact Maria Bancroft or Bonnie Prigge at 573-265-2993 or via email at mbancroft@meramecregion.org or bprigge@meramecregion.org respectively.

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