Paying it Forward: The Twentieth Century Touches the Twenty-first Century

The Mediapolis Education Foundation is excited to announce the receipt of funding for two new annual scholarships for Mediapolis graduates preparing for careers in nursing or veterinary science.

Two former Mediapolis graduates, Geraldine Catherine “Gerry” Schmidt Wickhart, class of 1939, and Sharon K. Brown Saurini, class of 1962, each looked to touch the future with their generous gifts for twenty-first century Mediapolis graduates.

The year is 1939. The Great Depression (1929-1939) was ending only to be replaced with the beginning of World War II. In spite of these historical challenges, Mediapolis High School graduated twenty-three students one of whom was Geraldine Catherine “Gerry” (Schmidt) Wickhart: born Oct. 22, 1921, in Sperry, she was the daughter of Clarence W. and Stella Kindy Schmidt. Mrs. Wickhart and her husband, Roy, lived and worked in the area during their lives.

The year is 2017. The Mediapolis Education Foundation is notified that following her passing in December 2016, Mrs. Wickhart  left a monetary gift to be managed and a portion awarded annually as a scholarship(s) to graduates from Mediapolis Community School who plan to go into a medical field, particularly nursing.

The year is 1944. World War II was still raging. Floyd and Helen Heibner Brown were blessed with a daughter, Sharon, whom they raised on their family farm near Mediapolis. Sharon graduated in 1962 from Mediapolis Consolidated School and went on to graduate from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1965. Sharon and her husband, Albert Saurini, lived in Indianapolis where Sharon taught school for a number of years.

The year is 2017. The Mediapolis Education Foundation is notified that Sharon Brown Saurini  entrusted her estate, specifically her Des Moines County farm, to the MEF. Her desire was that the estate funds generated  be used to assist Mediapolis graduates who plan to become veterinarians.

The MEF wishes to express our sincere gratitude to Mrs. Schmidt Wickhart and Mrs. Sharon Brown Saurini for their vision, generosity, and desire to invest in the lives of many future Mediapolis graduates. It is our honor to manage each of their funds and distribute them in accordance with their individual wishes. Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” We thank both of these Mediapolis graduates for investing in the knowledge of future Mediapolis graduates.

The Mediapolis Education Foundation is overseen and guided in all of its endeavors by an independent board of Trustees. This Board is comprised of civic minded leaders that represent a broad cross section of the community, including farmers, business professionals, educators, and others. Some of these Board members also sit on the MEF Investment Committee and/or the MEF Farm Management Committee.

The Mediapolis Education Foundation (MEF), a non-profit tax exempt 501 (c)(3) IRS corporation, was established in 1986, by interested citizens of the school community with the support of the Board of Education. The MEF is operated independently of the school system, and is meant to enrich and strengthen the quality of education and promote academic excellence in our district. It is our privilege to continue serving our school, students, and community throughout the 21st Century.  ( or Facebook)