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Hickerson Giving Lifts Harvey Alumni Endowment Fund

The Harvey Alumni Association Endowment Fund that underwrites scholarships and supports programs for Harvey students, has recorded its second straight year of double-digit growth, propelled by major contributions from philanthropist and retired U.S. Army officer Arville L. Hickerson, Class of 1952.

Colonel Hickerson, a highly-decorated Vietnam War veteran, first approached the Harvey Alumni Association in 2013, providing a $25,000 gift to establish a memorial scholarship honoring his 1952 Harvey classmate, college roommate, and longtime friend Theodore A. Beckwith and his wife Barbara.

Beckwith and Hickerson, star players on the undefeated 1951 Harvey football team, were president and vice-president, respectively of the 1951-1952 Harvey student body. The first Beckwith Memorial Scholarship, a $1,000 award, was given to a graduating senior in 2014.

Hickerson, a member of both the Harvey Hall of Fame of Distinguished Graduates and Athletic Hall of Fame where he was selected as an individual and also as a member of the Class of 1952 football team, contributed an additional $25,000 to the endowment fund in January, 2015 enabling an increase in the Beckwith scholarship award to $2,000.

He pledged $10,000 in February to fund a second scholarship, in his own name, and intends to provide an additional $40,000 for the Colonel Arville L. Hickerson Scholarship Fund in 2016. He has also established legacies from two separate annuity investments, currently in excess of $200K, to be added to the funds of the two scholarships he has already established.

Prior to his selection to the Hall of Fame of Distinguished Graduates in 2013, Hickerson had donated more than $500,000 to a variety of scholarship-providing charitable groups, including the Military Officers Association of America, his alma mater Dartmouth College, and to Painesville’s Lake Erie College - solely for scholarships for Harvey graduates.

The Hickerson contributions and on-going fund-raising by the Harvey Alumni Association have increased the total value of the endowment fund to nearly $180,000. The fund is invested in and managed by The Cleveland Foundation, the nation’s fourth-largest community foundation, and it generated nearly $7,000 in earnings for scholarships and Harvey support projects for 2015.

In addition to scholarships for graduates, the Harvey Alumni Association - one of the most active of its kind in the region - has supported a number of innovative programs for current students.

These include the funding of a $7,000 project providing used musical instruments to Painesville City school children otherwise unable to afford them. The project is directly linked to a more-than-twofold increase in participation in the Harvey High School Marching Band in the last two years.

The fund has also underwritten, with $5,000, the newly-established “Raider Pride” program that rewards Painesville city school children for positive behavior, effort and character, and is aimed at increasing Harvey attendance, school spirit and its graduation rate.

Other recent fund projects include the $13,000 construction in 2014 of a memorial wall outside the new Harvey High School on West Walnut Avenue. It incorporates the original 1922 cornerstone from the now-demolished original Harvey building on Washington Street and the revered stone mottoes from above its main entrances – “As the Opportunity, So the Responsibility” and “Education is the Safeguard of Democracy".

Staffed entirely by alumni volunteers, the endowment fund currently administers eight annual scholarships in conjunction with the Harvey administration and has to date presented nearly $50,000 to college-bound Harvey seniors.

The Alumni Association is engaged in a variety of on-going fund-raising projects and has established the Distinguished Graduates Hall of Fame, that includes, among others, former NFL player and coach Don Shula, the late New York Times editor and correspondent James M. Naughton, and Washington University physicist and author John S. Rigden.

Contributions to the Harvey Alumni Association Endowment Fund are tax-deductible and donors will be provided with a written acknowledgment of their gift. Contributions can be mailed to:

Harvey Alumni Association Endowment Fund

200 West Walnut Avenue

Painesville, Ohio 44077