Special to Reflector-Chronicle
Longtime county residents Woodrow and Esther Tyrell’s $1.3 million estate gift to the Community Foundation of Dickinson County – the largest single endowment gift in the history of the Foundation – will forever give Dickinson County high school seniors an opportunity to receive major financial support to further their educations.
Community Foundation of Dickinson County President Kristine Meyer said the Tyrells’ estate gift will be endowed and therefore will allow the Woodrow and Esther Tyrell Scholarship to continue in perpetuity with interest from the invested monies funding the scholarship each year.
David Riordan, president of Solomon State Bank and trustee for the Tyrell Trust, said the couple chose the Community Foundation as the benefactor of their estate and requested the Foundation administer the scholarship upon their deaths because of their strong belief in the importance of education.
“Because of their generous endowment to the Community Foundation of Dickinson County, the Tyrells’ legacy will foster better lives for students from Dickinson County forever,” Riordan said of the scholarships. “The scholarship is an endowed fund, so the amount of the awards will be adjusted every four years.”
Mark Guilfoyle, Attorney PA and estate attorney for the Tyrells, described Benjamin Woodrow Tyrell as a “hard working, self-made man” who was born in Talmage and after serving his country in World War II returned to Dickinson County where he worked at the Abilene Flour Mill for 33 years. In 1952, he married the former Esther Luthi from Longford who was a longtime educator in the county.
Of the gift, $250,000 was given to the Foundation to implement the Tyrell Scholarship and will leverage matching funds from the Kansas Health Foundation.
“The Tyrells were very practical and would be most pleased to know that $250,000 of their gift leveraged $125,000 in matching funds that will benefit our community through support of the Community Foundation,” Guilfoyle said.
Meyer said the Tyrells left a huge legacy through their generosity and planning efforts.
“Woodrow and Esther Tyrell provided a generous scholarship and an operating endowment to support the same,” Meyer said. “What they have done is profound for now and for the future and we thank them warmly. They will always be remembered fondly. The operating endowment provides the capacity to administer this scholarship and benefits the Community Foundation as a whole.”
The first of the Tyrell Scholarships will be awarded this Spring with two recipients receiving $16,000 distributed over four years. Any graduating senior of a Dickinson County public high school who plans to attend a Kansas college or university may apply with applications found on the high schools’ websites or in each guidance counselor’s office.
The Community Foundation of Dickinson County currently stewards over $5 million in charitable assets – the result of contributions from families, individuals and businesses who care about the community. Established in 1999, the Foundation makes charitable giving easy, flexible and effective.