Former Portage Co. teacher donates savings to future YSU students

The 87-year-old created a $491,000 scholarship endowment to benefit Windham High School graduates

A former Portage County teacher created a scholarship endowment for Windham graduates going to YSU.

WINDHAM, Ohio (WKBN) – A Portage County man is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to help future Youngstown State students.

Robert Kimes, 87, created a $491,000 scholarship endowment to benefit Windham High School graduates going to YSU. The scholarship honors the memory of his wife, and her sister and mother.

He was a math and science teacher for 15 years in the district and is excited to use his life’s savings this way in the future.

In a statement, Kimes said:

“My wife and I always believed that education is one of the pillars of today’s society and that is why I chose to honor her, her mother and sister this way. I think a scholarship is the best way to help current and future students reach their full potential.”

“It was his life’s work with the people of Windham,” said YSU President Jim Tressel.

Kimes spent nine years in the Army and worked for a local business before going to YSU as a non-traditional student and graduating in 1973.

To qualify for the scholarship, the Windham graduate must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and demonstrated financial need.

It will pay for one year of full-time tuition, books and fees for one or more recipients. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years as long as eligibility requirements are met.

Tressel took a moment to give the scholarship winners advice.

“Get involved in lots of things. Take hard courses. Take lots of courses.”

Kimes was not present for the ceremony at Windham High School because he wants to stay out of the spotlight.

“Those kids are going to have an opportunity to have an even more affordable situation…This was really pennies from heaven, for us and for the kids as well.”

“The smile on the face he had and the sense of accomplishment and joy was priceless to me,” said Brian Wolf from the YSU Foundation.

It’s not lost that these new scholarships are from a school in Portage County, which is closer to Kent State than to YSU.

“We’ve been working hard to expand the footprint of YSU, and it just so happens that there are six or seven kids coming from Windham.”

For those kids, it means one fewer year of tuition from their pockets. For YSU, it’s a new pipeline to Portage County.

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