Park Alumnus and Wife Give $73,500 for Awards

Ernest R. Esch and Mary Reid Esch

Ernest R. Esch and Mary Reid Esch

Thanks to Ernest R. Esch, '30, and his wife, Mary Reid Esch, Park University has two new scholarships. A $73,500 gift was made from the estates of Ernest Esch and Mary Reid Esch to establish the scholarships. For many years, he intended that a certain percentage of his estate be designated for student scholarships at Park. The two scholarships are to be awarded to students who maintain a 3.0 GPA and have a financial need.

"I'm glad my family could do this for the institution Ernest and Mary so loved," said Sydney Reid-Hedge, the couple's daughter.

Ernest Esch graduated from Park in 1930. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. He earned a master's degree from New York University before becoming educational director for First City National Bank of New York City. He later worked at banks in Kansas City and McGregor, Texas. He served as president of the Park Alumni Association and then as a member of the board of trustees from 1948 to 1956. He was a recipient of Park's distinguished Alumnus Award in 1966. He died in 1996 at the age of 87.

Although she wasn't a Park graduate, Mary fell in love with Ernest and, soon after they were married, she fell in love with Park. During her career, she served as executive assistant to the Commanding Generals, Army Air Force, in Denver and established The Office of the Department of Interior, U. S. Geological Survey in Dallas.