A Gift of Love
Joe and Trish St. Georges keep alive the memory of their late son Ken through a scholarship fund that grows every Christmas
Joe and Trish St. Georges' children never have trouble deciding what to get them for Christmas. For more than ten years, they have donated to the endowed scholarship fund established in 1969 in honor of the St. Georges' eldest son, Ken, who was killed in a vehicle accident at the end of his junior year at Kenyon.
"Our theory is that if our kids make a contribution to Kenyon, it is tax deductible, they don't have to mail it, we appreciate it, and it helps someone get an education," Joe St. Georges says. "It's a lot better than boxes of bon bons."
St. Georges describes Ken as a "typical kid" who was enthusiastic about Kenyon and hoped to attend medical school. At the time of his death, he was scheduled to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and had recently gotten engaged.
The St. Georges family could think of no better way to memorialize Ken than by helping other students get the education he never completed. The first J. Kennedy St. Georges Memorial Scholarship was awarded in 1970 to Gary Hayes '71, one of the founders of Kenyon's Black Student Union.
Thanks to contributions over the years from various members of the St. Georges family, the scholarship fund has grown tenfold since 1969. Today, its recipients receive more than $3,000 each year.
Tracy Jacobs, Ken's fiancée, whom Joe calls an "appropriated daughter," contributes to the fund during the holidays. She says, "I am at an age where I also have too many things and I think it is a great idea."
Jacobs says she is particularly happy to support the fund because many of the recent scholarship recipients have been women. Julianne Day '06 is one of them. She aspired to be a book author and illustrator and was drawn to Kenyon because of its strong English department.
"I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't come to Kenyon, and without scholarship support I never could have," Day wrote in a thank-you letter.
Joe St. Georges has designated the scholarship fund as a beneficiary in his will, but he will continue to make annual contributions. "Adding to the scholarship fund each year is rewarding because it helps others reach goals similar to those to which Ken aspired," St. Georges says. "And it also lets us remember a special guy."