The scholarship was started by Ruth Thurmond in the 1980s, when she began working with the YWCA to secure basic essentials like food and shelter for foreign students. In her work, she learned of few funding resources for women trying to go back to school, said her son, Don Thurmond.
Mrs. Thurmondís passion for educating women was planted at a young age. During her senior year of college - around 1938 - she met the man she later married, but when they first met her father did not allow her to wed until she finished college and spent one year working in her chosen profession - teaching, said Don Thurmond, who continues his motherís mission and scholarship even after her death.
In 2010, he was the first man appointed to the YWCA of North Orange Countyís board of directors in 84 years. He serves as the associationís treasurer and in his role, he oversees investments made to generate the income from interest that funds the scholarship.
The Thurmond Scholarship
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Thurmond Scholarship Recipients 2012 Left to Right:
Diane Jones, Fengfei Bao, Mahsa Razeghi, Shawn Robison, Ruth Burton, Helene Morel, Kelly Burt, Katia Berokoff, Solmaz Fahimi, Don Thurmond