Who is Mr. William D. Squires?
William was born in Granville, Ohio, one of six boys. He graduated from Homer High School in Licking County in 1929, the year of the Stock Market crash that marked the start of the Great Depression. The Depression ended any hope of fulfilling his dream of a college education but did teach him to work hard and save earnestly.
The Squires Brothers
Front row: Ralph and Hugh
Back row: William, Earl, Paul (Ed) and Harold
William and all five of his brothers served in the military in World War II. All six brothers saw combat. All six brothers returned home safely. Their mother received a letter of acknowledgement expressing the nation’s gratitude from The Secretary of War.
Letter from Robert P. Patterson
Secretary of War
under President Harry S. Truman
(click to enlarge)
After WWII, William became a pipe fitter. His work took him to large industrial projects all over the country although his home base continued to be Middletown, Ohio. William retired in 1977 and eventually moved to Arizona to be closer to his brother, Ralph. William passed away in 2004 and a tribute follows this short history of his foundation.
History of The Foundation
Since William did not have any direct heirs, he chose The Foundation as a vehicle to distribute his estate for a very worthy cause. He desired to help place the dreams of financially needy students within reach. His philosophy aligns closely with Benjamin Franklin.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
The William D. Squires Educational Foundation received non-profit 501(c)(3)status as a family foundation and received approval for The William D. Squires Scholarship program in 1999. The following year, The Foundation awarded 40 scholarships for the first time to students from the Graduating Class of 2000. It was a very exciting year for the Squires family! That first year holds many wonderful memories.
After sending our first mailing to Ohio senior guidance counselors, we had no idea if students would apply for an unknown scholarship. The applications seemed to just trickle in and then, about 3 days after the postmark deadline, there were 5 boxes of applications waiting for us at the post office….about 100 per box! Ever since then, we have found that about 85 percent of all applications are mailed on the postmark deadline date! Senior year is a very busy time.
The amount of the scholarship award has remained the same since the beginning; $3,000 per calendar year and renewable up to three additional years, for a total of $12,000.
We feel strongly about keeping the scholarship renewable. Some scholarships and other financial aid programs are only for the freshman year. We are attempting to help students that are extremely goal oriented and motivated to complete their education, but will need financial assistance until they graduate.
The Foundation is actually incorporated in Arizona because William and his brother Ralph were both residents of Arizona when the Foundation began. But, it was William’s wish to give financial assistance only to students from his home state of Ohio. William and all of the members of the Board of Directors were born in Ohio and graduated from Ohio High Schools. After the overwhelming response by applicants, we do not anticipate expanding our geographic area.
The current Board Members are spread out across the country but are forever Buckeyes!
William’s brother Ralph was instrumental in envisioning and creating The Foundation and The Foundation was certainly a huge part of Ralph’s motivation for living during his final years. William and Ralph each placed a high value on education.
Ralph served as the first President of the Board of Directors. He was given the status of Lifetime Honorary Board Member during the 2001 Board Meeting just a few months prior to his passing. Ralph’s wife Lena B. Squires served as Treasurer from the beginning but decided to step down in 2012. William’s nephew, Mark A. Squires, has recently joined the Board as the new Treasurer.
The remaining original (and current) Board Members are four of William’s nieces: Pamela A. Bolen, voted in as the new president during the Board meeting of 2000; Deborah A. Squires, vice-president; Judy K. Perry, Secretary; and Cynthia S. Gross, Executive Director and Scholarship Director.
Working with the Foundation has brought our family closer together and continuously touches each of our hearts. After all, what could be better than helping people reach for their dreams?
A grand total of 249 William D. Squires Scholarships have been awarded to students in the classes of 2000 through 2016. With the addition of 15 scholarships to the Class of 2017, a total of over $3 million will have been awarded. The entire list of our recipients is available.
Mr. William D. Squires
1/21/12 – 7/22/04
Mr. William D. Squires passed away at the age of 92. The Foundation Board Members, currently include five nieces and nephews. We will be forever grateful to William for giving us the opportunity to be a part of his magnificent legacy. The Foundation continues to enrich our lives as we watch student’s dreams turn into reality.
It warms our hearts to know that William was able to experience the Foundation award the first 90 scholarships. He also lived to see our first group of recipients graduate. Over 40 recipients of The William D. Squires Scholarship graduated in 2004, only a few weeks before his passing. A few of these students graduated a year early. We are so proud of each and every one.
William truly enjoyed reading scholarship applications and letters from recipients but appeared most interested in seeing what colleges they chose. He was partial to Denison University and Ohio State University.
If you asked William what made the world go around, we don’t think he would have said love or money. He would have said education. William will be missed but his generosity will affect generations to come.
Sincerely, The Board of Directors