Sweet! High school gets a million dollars for scholars
Harold A. Wyatt, 94, sets up a fund for college-bound seniors at Forest Grove High School
The most successful strawberry processor in Oregon history has a sweet deal for Forest Grove High School seniors: keep your grades up and you could get some help with that first year of college tuition.
On Thursday, school officials will officially announce the Harold Alfred Wyatt Fund, a $1 million endowment that should generate at least $45,000 a year for scholarships.
This is the third scholarship fund established by Wyatt, a longtime Forest Grove resident who in 1952 founded Flavorland Foods, which was the city's largest employer two decades later.
In 1993, retired but still active in community affairs, Wyatt set up a fund for high school graduates in Baker County, where he grew up. A few years later he established scholarships for students in western Washington County who were going into agriculture-related studies.
The 1938 Reed College graduate decided to establish a fund specifically for Forest Grove High School students after reading about the academic progress made at the school in recent years.
'Forest Grove High School has made quite a name for itself in the last year or two,' said Wyatt, 94, who said he'd noticed low graduation rates at the school only a few years ago. 'It's been a great change and we have something to capitalize on.'
Principal John O'Neill plans to announce the new scholarship at a Thursday morning assembly, where Susan Castillo, the state school superintendent, will honor the school for its continued academic strides.
O'Neill said a scholarship committee intends to provide multiple scholarships for seniors heading to both four-year universities and two-year colleges.
Details about the scholarship, which will be available to this year's graduating seniors, are available on the OSAC website, www.getcollegefunds.org. The scholarship is listed in the Forest Grove section.