Keener Gift Honors Former Professor
A $50,000 pledge from the Robert W. and Barbara J. Keener Foundation has established the endowed Professor Edgar Little Memorial Chemistry Scholarship.
Robert Keener, a native of St. Joseph, graduated from the St. Joseph Junior College in 1955. He said, as a student, Little "took him under his wing" and influenced his decision to seek a career in petroleum engineering. He resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The scholarship is for full-time junior or seniors who have declared a chemistry major.
Edgar Little joined the St. Joseph Junior College staff as a chemistry instructor in the 1940s. He served as head of the Chemistry Department and also served as dean of men before being promoted to dean of the Junior College, the top administrative position, in 1963. He was promoted when Dean Marion Gibbins took a two-year leave of absence to work on an education project in the Somali Republic.
Edgar retired in 1965 when Gibbins returned. However, Edgar came out of retirement in 1967 to serve as interim chief administrator when Dr. Milburn Blanton, Junior College president, left. Little stayed on until Dr. M.O. Looney began his presidency.
Department of Chemistry personnel recently established a scholarship in honor of Dr. Len Archer, long-time chair and faculty member who retired last year. When Dr. Gerald Zweerink retired in 2010, a scholarship was established in his honor, also. The department is currently asking for gifts to help both scholarships reach the endowment level of $10,000.
For more information, contact Kim Weddle at 816-271-5648.