Merrill Area Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. John Sample, announced today that former Merrill residents, Gerald and Charmaine Whitburn, are providing the Merrill Senior High School scholarship program with a $250,000 gift.
The gift will provide a $10,000 scholarship to a graduating Merrill High senior heading to one of the University of Wisconsin’s four-year campuses in each of the next 25 years.
“Nothing is more important than education in today’s world,” the Whitburns, first in their respective families to seek a higher education, said in a statement. They now reside in Wausau.
Whitburn, a Merrill native and retired CEO and Chairman of Church Mutual Insurance Company, added, “Merrill has been very good to us, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to assist a local student who has financial need each year going forward to attain their academic dreams and goals.”
He serves on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and earlier served on the boards of both the NTC Foundation and the Wisconsin Center for the Academically Talented Youth.
Reacting to the gift, Dr. Sample said, “We are so appreciative of this generous opportunity the Whitburns have provided our students. They are truly paying it forward and allowing recipients of the Whitburn Scholarship access to lifelong success.”