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Christmas Gift Reflects Frostburg Alum’s Love for Family, Alma Mater

Christmas Gift Reflects Frostburg Alum’s Love for Family, Alma Mater
The Rev. George Harpold and his wife, Phyllis, at right, meet Lindsey Glotfelty, center, a recipient of the scholarship in their name. The Harpolds were given a tour of a lab in the Compton Science Center by, from left, lab manager Valerie Fritz and Dr. Scott Fritz, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

It was Christmastime in 2011, and the Rev. George Harpold and his wife, Phyllis, were staring down at a huge box their son, Michael, had just handed to them.

“Michael kept telling us, ‘This is the best present I’ve ever bought you,’” George said.

What was inside could hardly be contained by a package, or even their hearts, which were bursting with pride, love and gratitude toward their son when they realized it was a scholarship he had created in their name.

“We both cried,” Phyllis said.

The Reverend George M. and Mrs. Phyllis C. Harpold Presidential Merit Scholarship in Biology supports Frostburg State University biology majors who are residents of Allegany or Garrett counties – a reflection of the Harpold family’s history of supporting each other’s dreams to pursue an education and employment in Western Maryland, where their roots run deep.

Michael used the biology degree he received from FSU in 1995 to go on to become a chiropractor. His sister, Lynn, completed a degree in chemistry at Frostburg State College in 1984 and eventually became a veterinarian. Phyllis graduated with her degree in education in 1960 from Frostburg State Teachers College.

The legacy stretches back even further to Phyllis’ aunt, Esther Carter, who graduated from Frostburg Normal School in 1932 and enjoyed an admirable career as a leader in special education. Esther supported her family, including her niece, for many years – taking care of many expenses and even paying Phyllis’ way through college.

“I mean, she paid for my lunch. … She bought my lunch every day. She was our hero,” Phyllis said.

Michael was very close to Esther, who passed away from lung cancer just five days before Christmas in 1980.

The Harpolds appreciate the fact that the scholarship focuses on helping local students with a preference for academic ability and demonstrated financial need, so they can stay close to home and their families and benefit from parental guidance.

The Harpold Scholarship is also strategic in that it supports students in the sciences who may very well remain in Western Maryland and start careers there, George said.

All in all, it was a Christmas present that will last well beyond that first season, and is one the Harpolds will enjoy for the rest of their lives.

“In the 51 Christmases we’ve been married, that was the best gift we’ve ever gotten,” George said.

“We have really good kids,” Phyllis laughed. The Harpolds also have a third daughter named Anita.

To learn more about how to support the Reverend George M. and Mrs. Phyllis C. Harpold Presidential Merit Scholarship and the FSU Foundation, visit or call 301-687-4161.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589