ECCF Eaton Rapids Public Schools - Carl & Ruth Ackley Scholarship Fund

The idea for the scholarship seems to have naturally flowed from the lifestyle that Carl and his first wife, Lethia, led throughout their time in Eaton Rapids. According to Alice and Gayle, daughters of Carl and Lethia, the concept of giving back to their community was ingrained in their upbringing. Both girls remember conversations with their parents and references to a scholarship well before 1984 when their mother died.

During the summer of 1994, Carl contacted the guidance staff at the high school and began consideration of some specifics of the scholarship. A heavy emphasis on community service as a criterion for selection of the recipient seemed very important to Carl.

Carl passed away in 1995. Although not a part of the original idea, second wife Ruth E. Ackley supported Carl's decision to leave money in a scholarship fund. After Ruth passed away in 1999, the money was donated to the school district.

The Eaton Rapids Scholarship Advisory Committee was formed at this time. Leonard Peters, a longtime business partner of Carl's, was very helpful in confirming the wishes and intentions of Carl and Lethia as the actual application was crafted.

The recipients are selected by the Eaton Rapids Scholarship Selection Committee. The first recipients were announced at the 2001 Honors Convocation.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:

This scholarship is intended for graduating seniors of Eaton Rapids High School who have been in attendance for their 11th and 12th grades and demonstrated a desire and capacity to learn. Successful applicants must be accepted to an institution of post high school training. Scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply for one year. Selection of recipients will be based on:

A demonstrated desire and capacity to learn.

A strong commitment to attain a post high school educational goal.

Two letters of recommendation, one from a community member and one from a certified staff member. The recommendation should detail information related to the applicant's capacity to reach their goal.

Acceptance by a post high school educational institution as a full-time student.

A personal statement provided by the candidate.

Demonstration of involvement in community service in the Eaton Rapids area.

Must be a resident of the Eaton Rapids School District.

To apply, please contact the counseling office at Eaton Rapids High School, (517) 663-2231.