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PSU receives major gift to provide student scholarships
PSU Foundation Board Chair Donna Geisler accepts a gift for scholarships from Kevin Mitchelson, attorney for the Mays estate. Also pictured is President Steve Scott and Foundation President and CEO Kathleen Flannery.

PSU receives major gift to provide student scholarships

The PSU Foundation is especially thankful this week: a $250,000 gift to the Foundation will ensure the memory of an alumna will live on by helping students.

Robert Lee Mays, a native of Burgess, Missouri, had established the Glenda Sanderson-Mays English Scholarship at PSU in memory of his wife just after her death in April 2013. At that time, he also established a planned gift.

He passed away in May, and this week PSU received that planned gift. It is to be added to the Sanderson-Mays scholarship fundearmarked for students from Crawford County, Kansas, who are attending PSU with the intent of majoring in English and communications.  

Glenda Sanderson-Mays, a native of Pittsburg, graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1958 and PSU in 1962. She went on to teach French and English in Ft. Scott. After marrying Mays, who was serving in the Army, she joined him in Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, and eventually France. 

When the couple returned to Pittsburg, she worked in the Registrar's Office and later for Pittsburg SRS until she retired in 2000.  

Mr. Mays, who was a resident of Frontenac when he died, graduated from Mulberry High School in 1956 and from Ft. Scott Junior College in 1961. He served in the Army from 1962 until he was honorably discharged in 1964, then worked for Pittsburg Job Service until his retirement in 1996. 

The couple was married in 1962 and just before Mrs. Mays' death had celebrated 50 years together. 

"I always was inspired by Bob’s love for and devotion to Glenda. He gave her credit for all they accomplished together, and truly loved and honored her to the day he died," said Kevin Mitchelson, with Wheeler & Mitchelson, Chartered law firm in Pittsburg and attorney for the Mays estate. Donna Geisler, chair of the PSU Foundation board, accepted the gift this week on behalf of the Foundation from Mitchelson.

Three scholarships already have been awarded to PSU students. 

Kathleen Flannery, vice president of University Advancement and President and CEO of the PSU Foundation, said it was humbling to see the connection that Mrs. Mays had to PSUa connection that inspired her husband to make such gifts. 

"Students will benefit from this scholarship from years to come," she said.  

Celia Patterson, chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, said that the couple's gift was an especially welcome one

"As the cost of attending college rises, scholarship endowments need to rise as well so that our students can continue to get the education they need," Patterson said. "We were thrilled to hear about the Mays endowment, which will enable us to compete with other schools to attract the best and the brightest students."

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