Celebrating 50 Years of Giving Back to The Next Generation
(Ephrata, PA) What started as a simple gesture by a man who feared being forgotten has become one of the most unique and most talked about scholarship programs in the area. This week, 75 graduating seniors from Ephrata Area School District have newfound understanding, appreciation and gratitude for the mysterious man behind the J. Harry Hibshman Scholarship.
50 years in the making, the Hibshman scholarship is believed to be one-of-a-kind. A lifelong bachelor and former Ephrata National Bank President, Mr. Hibshman left his fortune of $1.5 million in blue-chip investments in a scholarship trust fund for deserving students pursuing higher education. Through his foresight, he has single-handedly made it possible for an unprecedented number of students in the Ephrata School District to qualify for $3,000/year, for up to four years.
Awarded to students based on financial need, academic achievement, extra-curricular involvement and the successful completion of an interview with the five-member scholarship committee, the scholarship is a true honor and testament to the hard work and commitment of so many Ephrata High School students.
The scholarship fund is administered by the Trust Department of Ephrata National Bank and owns 32% of the bank’s stock. To date, more than 3,800 lives have been changed through the more than $22 million invested into the next generation.
It’s unknown if Mr. Hibshman understood the impact his generosity would have or whether he had any idea that not only would he be remembered, but he would also become one of Ephrata’s most unforgettable citizens.
Watch this video tribute to J. Harry Hibshman.