By James Schnur
Life is about giving and receiving gifts. Gifts that provide significant springboards during our lives are especially noteworthy. Such gifts last beyond the givers' and receivers' lives. Such is the case with the Winifred Budd Elementary Education Scholarship — a living remembrance of a special woman and alumna of Fredonia.
Winifred Budd was born in rural northern Chautauqua County and lived here her entire 98 years. She received her degree from the State College at Fredonia. Early on, she taught in one- and two-room schools, teaching virtually all grades for 28 years. She later taught in the Forestville Central Elementary School until retiring in 1973, teaching a total of 50 years. She understood and loved elementary school children and could teach them. She received me, as a student teacher, into her fifth grade classroom in Fall 1958, where she taught and inspired me.
I graduated from Fredonia the following January. I had my degree, teaching certificate, a wife, a daughter, a son on the way and no job. Jobs were scarce in the middle of the academic year, but there happened to be a third grade position open in Forestville, which I decided to take. Winnie said she would take that third grade position and let me teach her fifth grade class — a class I knew well because of student teaching. I didn't ask for this; she simply offered. She continued to help, teach and shape me for more decades to follow.
How to acknowledge such generosity? My wife, Mary Ann, and I decided on a scholarship in Winnie Budd's name. Completing my career as a university professor and administrator, I was aware of the significance of scholarship support for students. This gift could provide a living springboard for aspiring elementary education majors for years to come.
We established this scholarship after Winnie's death in 2002. She never knew of it, but her spirit lives on in this gift and our thanks for her generosity live on as well.
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