Posted by Jim Fitzgerald
One of the most interesting things that the research of the past year and a half is the amount of time, money and effort that has been expended by Rotarians in the past one hundred years to build and support the schools in Harrison County.  We are indebted to the Marshall News Messenger and its predecessors for most of the verification of this fact. 
Even prior to the organization of the Marshall Rotary club, many of the men who eventually joined the club were adamant supports of the schools in Marshall.  For the most part the men who eventually would become Rotarians in 1919, were the ones behind the movement to raise the funds, build and finance the College of Marshall the previous four years.  
Less than two weeks after the club officially became the Rotary Club of Marshall, Texas, the club joined the Chamber of commerce to plan and organize a Teachers Institute in Marshall to be held in Marshall.
In September of 1919, when the College of Marshall opened for business, Rotarians were there welcoming the first students, making speeches and celebrating the event with great pride.  
In December, a College of Marshall fundraising report listed almost all of the members of the club as donors to the building fund and the library fund. In 1928 the club helped obtain the land and finance a $25,000 Nurses training building.
In 1920 the club published its “Standing Committees” list which included an Education Committee which was to be an integral part of the club’s committee structure from then on.  In addition to the Education Committee, the club added a Boys-Work committee and a Boy Scouts committee.
A couple of years later the Student Loan Fund was started to encourage students to attend college, which lasted until 1948, after which, the balance of the fund was converted to a scholarship grant instead of a loan.
In 1949 the first of two scholarships ever awarded by anyone until that year, was awarded from the Scholarship Fund to Miss Olga Miller in the amount of $450.  A second one was awarded by Ed Key, also a Rotarian.
In 1921, the club took a radical step in sponsoring a protégé Miss Alma Milstead to a professional singing career, awarding her a $1,000 scholarship to study under Dudley Buck a famous singing teacher in New York, and helped her raise additional money from concerts to fund her studies at the Julliard Graduate School.
In 1998, the club added another dimension to its educational program by offering scholarships to Juniors to stay in school and graduate. This is an ongoing program funded three to four Marshall High School students each year.
Aside from monetary incentives the club has actively supported and encouraged students in other ways, such as holding the regular club meeting in the school and eating the meal prepared by the students, and by inviting students to banquets and social gatherings, to emphasize, by example, the importance of education to their future lives.
These and the many other ways the Rotary club has aided our schools and and encouraged our young people in Marshall and Harrison county to have the best education possible, will be remembered when we celebrate our centennial event August 24, 2019.