FROSTBURG, Md.—Thanks to a generous gift from the Howard and Audrey Naylor Family Trust, Frostburg State University is making it possible for more graduate students in its education program to get the preparation they need to work with special needs children in the Appalachian region.
In December 2008, the FSU Foundation, Inc., received a generous contribution from the Trust, establishing the Howard and Audrey Naylor Scholarship (Naylor Scholars Program). Starting fall 2009, the new scholarship will be awarded annually to promising graduate students in FSU’s College of Education. Naylor Scholars will receive paid tuition and associated fees, books and in-state enrollment for one year and one summer at FSU. They will be selected based on their interest in teaching and working with children who have special needs. The scholarship also includes preferences for candidates who intend to teach in the Appalachian region, preferably close to Western Maryland, and who are able to conduct practical research related to facilitating students with special needs placed in traditional classrooms.
Howard and Audrey Naylor passed away in 2006. The scholarship’s specifications reflect the Naylor family’s personal experiences with special needs children and their lifelong commitment to education. Both Howard and Audrey were school teachers and advocates in the education community; Audrey served as a teacher in classrooms with special needs students well into her 80s. Additionally, one Naylor family member had both a daughter and a grandson with special education needs.
The Naylor family has deep roots in the Western Maryland area of Appalachia. In addition to the popular Naylor’s Ace Hardware store for which the family is known, Howard, an Oakland, Md., native, also filled a variety of important roles in the Garrett County community, including serving on the town council and as president of the Oakland Lions Club. He also loved skiing in Western Maryland and bought the ski tow equipment that led to the successful establishment of Western Maryland’s Wisp Ski Resort. Howard and Audrey enjoyed many years in Oakland, where they raised their five children.
The decision to fund a scholarship at FSU supports the NFT’s mission—the Trust is dedicated to organizations and institutions located in Appalachia that are education-focused.
“Howard and Audrey Naylor believed Frostburg has served a valuable role in generating first-class students and many graduates of Garrett County high schools attend FSU,” a representative of the Trust said. “We believe the need to train special needs teachers is clear, given the challenges and our evolving understanding of how to best address these unique students. We hope this scholarship will generate many innovative teachers for years to come.”
The FSU Foundation has embarked on a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Donations to the Foundation support student scholarships and programs, academic programs, faculty development and other critical University needs. For more information about supporting FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu/admin/foundation or call 301-687-4161.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu.