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Local Women Work to Revitalize and Expand Gill Scholarship

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star
Five local Board Members of the Donald E. Gill Scholarship Foundation have revitalized the scholarship established by Gill. Scholarship applications are being accepted until April 15.

Five local Board Members of the Donald E. Gill Scholarship Foundation are honoring the memory, legacy and wishes of long-time Seminole educator and community volunteer Don Gill by expanding and revitalizing a scholarship program he established to support high school students who plan to attend Seminole State College.

For many years Gill’s personal Foundation provided scholarships to five students to help offset costs of attending Seminole State College. Following his death in October, 2018, the Foundation Board has been working to preserve his wishes and to help more deserving students. Shelly Trammell, Jonna Bunyan, Cynthia Yerby, Janelle Zehren and Linda Dearing, all of Seminole, are hoping to increase awareness of the Gill Foundation Scholarship and are partnering with Seminole State College to reach more potential applicants.

The College has extended its scholarship application deadline for this special scholarship to April 15, 2020. The application form may be found at on the Financial Aid Scholarship page and can be returned by email to, or in person, at the Financial Aid Office in the Walkingstick Student Center on campus.

The group plans to award 10 scholarships valued at $2,400 over four semesters to high school seniors in Seminole County this spring who will be attending SSC. Students must have a financial need, must earn their high school diploma or an equivalent, must be enrolled full-time at SSC, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The scholarship is designed to assist non-athletes in their academic pursuits. Proof of enrollment and GPA will be evaluated each subsequent semester after the original award is presented in order to qualify for continuation of the scholarship.

In addition to completing the Gill Foundation Scholarship Application, interested students must submit a one-to-two page essay expressing why they feel they should be chosen, as well as their collegiate goals and aspirations.

Gill came to Seminole in 1969 along with former Seminole “Junior” College President Elmer Tanner and several other professors from Claremore. They made up the original faculty of the College as it separated from Seminole High School. He served as Dean of Students from 1969 to 1983 and taught speech in the Language Arts and Humanities Division until his retirement in 1991.

Seminole State College honored Gill with its Distinguished Service Award in 2014 for his longtime support of the College and his commitment to students of the institution.

Gill was a member of the Rotary Club, past president of the Seminole Elks and a devout elder in the Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the Maple Grove Chapel Association doing preservation work in the city cemetery. For over 30 years he helped organize and operate the Interfaith Social Ministries programs and the local Seminole Food Bank. For many years Don was the driving force behind the Rotary Club’s annual Christmas dinner. He was on the board of the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum. In recognition of his volunteerism, he was awarded the Seminole Chamber Commerce’s “Community Service Award,” and in January of 2019, he was posthumously awarded the 2018 “Citizen of the Year.”

For more information, contact the SSC Financial Aid office at 405-382-9247 or email