To honor the sacrifices their parents made to make their children’s college education possible, twin brothers the Rev. Dr. Donald Forrester and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ronald Forrester recently endowed the G. Wesley and Margaret M. Forrester Education Scholarship with combined gifts totaling more than $10,000 to the Frostburg State University Foundation.
The Forrester Education Scholarship will support students from Allegany, Garrett, Washington and Frederick counties who are enrolled full-time in the Department of Educational Professions at FSU.
Though their mother, Margaret, did not have the chance to pursue her own college degree, she and her husband knew how important a higher education would be to their children’s success. According to Don, of Oakland, Md., his parents “always placed a high value on education and encouraged us to take full advantage of our structured learning in the Baltimore County public schools.”
“They wanted us to have an easier life than they had,” said Ron, of Middletown, Md. “My parents were the inspiration to be all that I could be and provided me the opportunity to succeed if I worked hard and applied myself. … They had a dream for us.”
Ron and Don capitalized on their parents’ dream when they both graduated from Frostburg State College in 1967 alongside their future spouses, all with academic honors. After graduation, Ron and Don used their experience at FSU to build their careers.
According to Don, “My four years at FSU provided the critical academic and professional foundation upon which I built a 37-year career as an educator and educational administrator.” His brother followed his tenure at FSU with a successful 27-year military career in the Air Force, followed by a second career at Science Applications International Corp.
As their mother’s health began to decline about three years ago, the Forrester brothers discussed the idea to establish a scholarship in recognition of their parents’ “unconditional affection, generosity, encouragement and support,” Don said. When Margaret passed away Sept. 1, 2009, her sons decided it was time to establish the scholarship they had discussed.
Serving at the time as president of the FSU Alumni Association and an ex-officio member of the FSU Foundation Board of Directors, Ron wanted the scholarship in his parents’ honor to support and assist FSU students. Both Don and Ron benefitted from a Maryland scholarship program that assisted students who agreed to teach in state for two years after graduation. The program no longer exists, so the brothers wanted to help fill that void.
Ron said, “Our dad was honored and humbled that we would establish a scholarship in his and our mother’s name. He also felt our mom would be touched.”
“Like many parents from the Greatest Generation,” said Don, “they wanted to provide better lives for their children and grandchildren. This scholarship is a living testimony to them and that value system that always placed family first.”
Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg is raising 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.