For Walter Moore, Westernport resident Mary Jane Gülck’s late brother, the chance to attend Frostburg State University was a dream come true for a child who had fought a number of serious physical difficulties since birth and whose family was told he was unlikely to even finish high school.
Walter’s legacy will now live on in the Walter Moore Endowed Scholarship Fund through the FSU Foundation, benefiting political science majors at FSU who have financial need. Gülck said her brother was a kind and giving man, so she and her other brothers, John Victor and Michael, along with other donors, added $7,500 to $2,500 left from a special bequest of Walter’s to help out future FSU students.
“He was a kind and gentle soul who always had a ‘hello’ and “God bless you’ and ‘may the force be with you’ for everyone he met,” Gülck said. “He was just a delight – so kind to everybody,” she said.
Walter dealt all his life with coordination, speech and vision problems, but encouraging teachers and counselors throughout his schooling recognized his ability and worked tirelessly with him, Gülck said. He graduated high school and came to Frostburg for college, where he found more helping hands, she said.
“He lucked out with John Bambacus and John Wiseman.” He had a longtime love of the political scene and history, and he graduated as a political science major with honors.
"Walter was certainly one of those unforgettable and memorable characters that grace the classroom,” said Bambacus, professor emeritus of the Department of Political Science. “He was intelligent, well-read, and possessed a sense of certainty about himself, as well as wry humor, that endeared him to all. But he was more. Walter embraced his education at FSU far beyond the classroom and always kept in touch with professors and those who mattered to him.”
Wiseman, professor emeritus of the Department of History, recalled frequent, fervent, but good-natured arguments about politics and monarchy, which was a particular interest of Walter’s. “He was always willing to argue, and he would hold his ground,” Wiseman said. “He was just very upbeat and eager to learn, a very lovable guy,”
He spent most of his career working for Social Security in Baltimore, retiring early as a quality review technician when he developed a vision problem. His sister said he was so popular that they had to turn people away from his retirement party.
Walter loved Allegany County, where Gülck lives, and had always wanted to return. After retiring, he took that opportunity, moving with their mother, Mary, to Westernport, near his sister. He cared for his mother until her death.
To Gülck’s horror and sorrow, just two weeks later in October of 2007, her brother was dead, too, after complaining of nothing more serious than a dizzy spell the day before. He was 57. Gülck was devastated that her “gentle giant” of a brother was gone, and so soon after losing her mother. As time has passed, her grief has turned into reflection.
“Now I have to look at the blessing he was in my life,” she said, hoping his scholarship might be a blessing to others.
True to form, among Walter’s bequests was money he left to a friend with instructions to throw a wonderful party for his friends and family. The event, which his sister described as a “joyous occasion,” was held in early spring of this year in the Baltimore area. The $2,500 left from that event was the seed money for the new scholarship in his honor.
The FSU Foundation has embarked upon a $15 million comprehensive campaign, Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg, to raise badly needed funding for higher education in Western Maryland. Gifts support student enrichment, academic enrichment and regional and cultural enrichment. For more information about supporting FSU, visit foundation.frostburg.edu or call 301-687-4161 or 1-866-241-3296, toll free.
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.