Earlon & Betty McWhorter Contribute $500,000 to JSU
Earlon & Betty McWhorter of Anniston recently contributed $500,000 in cash and property to JSU. President Bill Meehan, right, accepts the gift. (Steve Latham Photo)
JACKSONVILLE -- August 10, 2001 -- A young man who rode his bike and delivered the daily newspaper to then-JSU President Houston Cole has recently contributed cash and property to the University totaling $500,000.
Earlon McWhorter and his wife of 41 years, Betty, have given the 40-unit Jax Apartments complex on Cole Drive to JSU along with $100,500. The McWhorters' cash contribution was used to establish the Earlon and Betty McWhorter Scholarship and an Outstanding Teacher Award, which also carries their name.
"I grew up near JSU and had many outstanding teachers here when I was a student, and I wanted to do something to honor them," Earlon said. "This seemed like a natural thing to do. The apartments were paid for by students. And we added the cash contribution to complete our $500,000 commitment to JSU."
JSU President Bill Meehan expressed appreciation for the gifts and told the McWhorters, "The Jax Apartment complex is and will continue to be an asset to our University's housing program. Today's students prefer the privacy of apartment living over dormitory style housing that you and I enjoyed as students. Your gift will continue to be an outstanding residence for students and a great addition to the University's housing program for many years to come."
The funds will provide scholarships for students and sponsor the Earlon and Betty McWhorter Outstanding Teacher Award, which is presented each year to a JSU faculty member. This year's recipient is Dr. Mark Meade of the biology department.
Reminiscing about his days at JSU, Earlon said that a few of the instructors who had the greatest impact on his life included Mary Moss Goggans, Tom Malone, Mrs. Jane Self, Theron Montgomery and Newbern Bush.
He said Miriam Haywood helped him get a scholarship, and his campus job was taking care of the clay tennis courts. McWhorter was majoring in pre-engineering at JSU when he transferred to Auburn for his engineering degree.
Betty McWhorter, a native of Terra Haute, IN, said she fell in love with Jacksonville and the University.
"Among the first people I met were Bob and Lou Kennamer (Mr. Kennamer is now a JSU trustee), and we have been friends since," she said.
Mr. Kennamer was a partner with Mr. McWhorter in the one- and two-bedroom apartments.
The University received the deed to Jax Apartments earlier this year.
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