Published April 19, 2015

New scholarship

Award established in honor of Tom Johnson, former Mellinger Foundation president

The Edward Arthur Mellinger Educational Foundation, Inc., has established a $10,000 annual scholarship at Monmouth College in honor of its former president, Tom Johnson.
To be awarded for the first time this spring, the Tom Johnson Scholarship will be presented to a Monmouth College junior who best exemplifies Johnson’s work ethic and values. A respected Monmouth banker and devoted community leader for more than four decades, Johnson continued his commitment to bettering the community when he assumed the presidency of the foundation following his retirement from banking.

Selected each year by the faculty of the political economy and commerce department, the student who receives the scholarship does not have to be a business major, but must have demonstrated interest and ability in business.
In announcing the scholarship, Mellinger Foundation President Dr. Gary Willhardt said that Johnson learned and appreciated the value of hard work growing up on his family’s farm. He also worked as a mechanic, a laborer building grain bins, and house painter. “Tom found squandering time a major sin,” Willhardt said. 
Johnson began his career in banking in the early 1950s. He became executive vice president of Monmouth Trust and Savings Bank, eventually moving to his work as president of Marquette Bank. From early in his career, Johnson made farm loans his specialty, becoming known as “the farmer’s banker,” and building one of the strongest farm loan operations in the region
“He would meet a farmer at dawn, in the field, because Tom had the time and the farmer didn’t,” Willhardt said.
In the early 1980s, Johnson joined the board of trustees of the Mellinger Foundation, established in Monmouth in 1959 to provide financial assistance for deserving students to attend accredited colleges within the United States. As a trustee and later president, he became especially committed to making higher education available to as many aspiring students as possible. Under his leadership, the foundation has assisted hundreds of area students in making the dream of higher education a reality.
“We are pleased and honored at the establishment of this new scholarship,” said Monmouth College President Clarence R. Wyatt. “Monmouth is committed to being a place of high opportunity and high achievement, and the Tom Johnson Scholarship is a great boost to those twin goals. We are grateful for this latest demonstration of the Mellinger Foundation’s support of our college and our community.”
Professor Michael Connell, chair of the political economy and commerce department, who was instrumental in the creation of the scholarship, observed, “So many of our students have to borrow money to pursue their education. That debt limits the future options of graduates. This gift will allow one student each year to start life after college in a better position and will have a lasting impact on their life.”
Added Connell, “It is my hope that the presence of this scholarship will encourage other hard-working students to come to Monmouth College. When that happens, we will all benefit from this gift – the new students, their classmates, the faculty and the college.”

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>