Dr. Evelyn Toler Bickford Memorial Scholarship
By Renee Pearman
Dr. Evelyn Toler Bickford was part of the Macon State College family
for 32 years, teaching basic mathematics to thousands of students
who passed through the divisions of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
and Learning Support. Her husband, Alan Bickford, who joined the college
faculty four years after Evelyn, still runs into her former students
on the campus and around town.
Dr. Evelyn Toler Bickford
"Every once in a while, I'm stopped in a grocery store or
at a bookstore or on campus by former students who tell me they
were in one of Evelyn's classes years before and how much she meant
to them and how much they enjoyed her class," Bickford said.
"Her students have always been so important to her, and, clearly,
she was just as important to them."
Evelyn Bickford lost her three-year battle with cancer last September.
Several weeks later Alan Bickford Ð with the support of family,
friends and colleagues Ð approached Sue Chipman, director of
the Macon State College Office of Development & Alumni Affairs,
about establishing a scholarship in Evelyn's memory.
"This college and her students were a major part of Evelyn's
life," Bickford said. "It seems to me that a scholarship
in her memory is a very good way to acknowledge that fact."
Evelyn Toler, a Macon native and graduate of Martha Berry College,
the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, was among
the original faculty to welcome students to what was then Macon
Junior College when it opened in 1968. Four years later she said
hello to a new faculty member, Dr. Alan K. Bickford, a Massachusetts
native straight out of graduate school who was hired to teach English.
"A friendship developed that fall of 1972, we were dating
by the spring, and we married in 1975," said Bickford, a professor
of English in the MSC Division of Humanities.
Evelyn Bickford was a member of the Natural Sciences & Mathematics
faculty for five years before moving to the Division of Learning Support,
where she was coordinator of mathematics. She also was an avid supporter
of the Friends of the Macon-Bibb County Library.
Establishing a Scholarship at MSC
To establish a scholarship or to
contribute to an existing scholarship, contact Sue. B. Chipman
at 471-2732 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
A contribution of $15,000 will establish a named-endowed scholarship,
and a $1,500 donation will confirm a named scholarship awarded
on a one-time basis. Contributions may be made to the General
Scholarship Fund in any amount.
To create a named-endowed scholarship at Macon State, contributions
totaling at least $15,000 are needed, according to Chipman. That
financial goal has been exceeded thanks to gifts from 64 donors,
among them Macon State faculty, staff and students, members of the
Bickford and Toler families, and friends and colleagues throughout
"Establishing a scholarship is a wonderful way to memorialize
a person or family or pay tribute to someone while at the same time
helping Macon State College students who show academic promise,
but face financial obstacles, meet their education goals."
This fall the first Evelyn Toler Bickford Memorial Scholarship
will be awarded to an adult student with financial need who has
demonstrated a strong commitment to learning.