Friday, August 01, 2014

Ottawa farmers’ legacy lives on through veterinary scholarships

By JOE MONTGOMERY, Special to The Ottawa Herald | 7/2/2014

MANHATTAN — A homegrown scholarship is helping cultivate higher education opportunities for veterinary students from Kansas.

Second-year Kansas State University student Ellen “Elli” Ouellette Unruh, Rantoul, and Kotie Wootten, Wellsville, an incoming first-year student, are the recipients of the R.E. Roseberry and Eileen E. Roseberry Scholarship established through the Franklin County Community Foundation. The renewable scholarship provides $10,000 each school year.

MANHATTAN — A homegrown scholarship is helping cultivate higher education opportunities for veterinary students from Kansas.

Second-year Kansas State University student Ellen “Elli” Ouellette Unruh, Rantoul, and Kotie Wootten, Wellsville, an incoming first-year student, are the recipients of the R.E. Roseberry and Eileen E. Roseberry Scholarship established through the Franklin County Community Foundation. The renewable scholarship provides $10,000 each school year.

The Roseberrys owned a number of farms in Franklin County where they mostly grew soybeans and raised beef cattle. They also operated a body shop in Ottawa, known as Roseberry Body Shop. R.E. “Rosey” Roseberry died in 2000 from terminal cancer; Eileen Roseberry followed in 2010. Through their estate, they left $4 million to establish the veterinary scholarship at K-State and other funds, including a music scholarship at K-State and a scholarship for the College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri.

“[The Roseberrys] believed in hard work,” John Richeson, the Roseberry’s attorney, said in 2010. “Obviously to run a full-time business and the farms, they didn’t have much daylight left in their days.”

Eileen Roseberry gave the Franklin County Community Foundation’s board of directors the authority to decide how much financial support each winner would receive for each of the scholarships, based in part on when they had a qualified applicant, according to Herald archives.

“We want to make sure the money is going to its intended purpose,” Jeanny Sharp, a community foundation board member and Herald editor and publisher, said. “If we don’t have an applicant, then we make sure the Roseberry’s fund continues to grow in the interim. Our job is to see that their desires for this scholarship fund are facilitated.”

Ouellette Unruh was honored the scholarship committee saw her education as an investment worth supporting, she said.

“I am very blessed to be a recipient of the Roseberry Scholarship and thankful for the financial assistance I have received,” Ouellette Unruh said. “Receiving the scholarship has a large impact on the size of financial burden I will have when I graduate veterinary school. It is my goal when I become a practicing veterinarian that I can give back to the community in ways similar to the Roseberry family.”

Wootten’s grandmother saw the scholarship announcement in The Herald and thought she should apply, she said.

“I never imagined I would be this lucky to receive a substantial scholarship that would instantly make going into veterinary school seem less stressful,” Wootten said. “Before I received this scholarship, I was constantly worrying about how I would be able to afford it and I was trying to calculate how much I would need to work to make ends meet. “

Wootten has been working in the dairy unit at K-State as an undergraduate student, but said that will change when she is in the veterinary college.

“Receiving this scholarship will allow me to work less and focus my spare time on studying,” she said. “With having more time to study and learn out of the classroom setting, it will be easier to reach my goal of practicing food animal medicine.”

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