In the years following World War II, Dr. Mode L. Stone, a native of Blountstown, Florida, and a professor in the College of Education at Florida State University, saw that many bright and accomplished high school graduates did not consider college an option because they simply did not have the money. Even if they received tuition scholarships, they could not afford room and board. Dr. Stone began to think that by providing housing at no cost and allowing the students to pool their money and work together, enough savings could be realized to make a college education possible. He obtained barracks at Dale Mabry Field and arranged with local business leaders to donate furnishings and appliances.
Word quickly spread and by the end of the semester, eleven young men were sharing the new cooperative living arrangement in the barracks. Dr. Stone, along with professors Dr. Sam T. Lastinger, Dr. Marion Hay, Dr. Hazen Curtis, former Dean of Education, Ralph Eyman and prominent Tallahassee attorney J. Velma Keen, further developed this unique concept to help capable, motivated, and financially needy young people gain access to higher education. Their idea was to build and purchase houses and to offer deserving students scholarships in the form of rent-free housing.
Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF), officially incorporated on April 13, 1955, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and is not a part of the state university system.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about Southern Scholarship Foundation that they may not already know?
Since day one all funds required to establish, maintain and repair the houses, and operate the Foundation have come from individuals, civic groups, charitable foundations, corporations and alumni.
What brings people to Southern Scholarship Foundation?
Students in financial need pursuing higher education, personal growth, and beloved community–and their supporters: individuals, civic groups, charitable foundations, corporations, and alumni.
How has Southern Scholarship Foundation grown over the years?
Today the Foundation manages twenty-seven scholarship houses; fourteen at Florida State University and three at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, nine at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and one at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers. We are currently housing over 458 students and have assisted more than 8,000 deserving students over the past half century.
What’s next for Southern Scholarship Foundation?
We will continue meeting the needs of deserving young people attending institutions of higher education.
What social media does Southern Scholarship Foundation use?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. We also have Newsletters, Blog posts, and Quarterly Update videos on our website.
Describe Southern Scholarship Foundation in 5 words or less It’s an
Education for Life!