Maker's gift for scholarships exceeds $2 million

Roscoe Maker Scholarships

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Tarleton celebrated a gift of more than $2 million to be used for scholarships from the late Roscoe Maker at a Sept. 24 luncheon. Maker was a businessman and rancher from Iredell in Bosque County.

On hand were Rodney Joy, the executor of Maker’s estate, friends and family of the rancher, as well as President F. Dominic Dottavio and a large number of Tarleton faculty and staff.

Maker “lived with great determination and passion,” Dottavio said. He added that the endowment wouldn’t just change the lives of students receiving the scholarships, but would “change families and change entire generations.”

Joy, a Bosque County banker, said that Maker “was a giver. He gave back to his country by training pilots in World War II. He gave back to his land, which he dearly loved. And now, most importantly, he’s given this endowment to the university.”

Maker some years ago set up the Roscoe and Halcie Maker Endowed Scholarship, and in 2011 contributed $300,000 to the endowment. When he died at age 95 in May 2012, he left his entire estate, including ranches in Bosque and Hamilton counties, to Tarleton.

Maker’s Bosque County land has been sold and a check in the amount of $1,300,000 was presented by Joy to the university during the celebration. The remaining tracts are valued in excess of $500,000 and are currently for sale. The total of all contributions is ultimately expected to surpass $2.1 million. The funds could provide as much as $100,000 per year for scholarships.

As a young man in the 1930s, Maker learned to fly along with his brother Lester C. “Red” Maker. The two established a flying school and airport in their native Clinton, Okla. During World War II, the brothers became civilian flight instructors for the Army Air Corps at Bruce Field in Ballinger, Texas, and later started a flying school in Abilene. Roscoe developed other business interests as well, including a successful hobby shop in Abilene, before buying the ranch land in Bosque and Hamilton counties.

Since the rancher liked to have a personal connection to the students who would benefit from his endowment, Maker stipulated that scholarships go to students with financial need and leadership skills with first preference given to those from Bosque County or nearby Hico.

“I really take my hat off to Roscoe and Tarleton for being so helpful to me in getting my education,” said Ryan Wilson, a current scholarship recipient. “It’s something I’d been taught to value from my father, and he’d just be jumping up and down with joy knowing that I have this scholarship money that I won’t have to pay back once I get out of college.”


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Joe Michael Feist

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Maker's gift for scholarships exceeds $2 million - Media Relations - Tarleton State University