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November 22, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Donald Rickett '56 Supporting Roberts Students Through The Mark Rickett Memorial Scholarship

Donald Rickett’56 is deeply committed to his family, education, and Roberts Wesleyan College. For the past few years, he has been supporting Roberts’ students through the Mark Rickett Memorial Scholarship that he developed in memory of his son.

Don is no stranger to pain and loss. In the last decade, he has had to suffer through the tragic death of his son, Mark, to the heroin epidemic. Then, after 61 years of marriage, he has had to admit his wife, Kay Lou, into a long term care facility due to dementia.

Even still, the peace and joy of his faith is evident. Don stays active in his church and with a local charity. He visits Kay Lou on a daily basis and cares for his son’s cat, Jasper.

Don is having to get used to retirement after 63 years as an NYS public school educator and administrator. He recently retired as a business auditor for the Indian River School District. Before that he was a business teacher, HR Director, and General Superintendent in multiple school districts.

Having enjoyed his years at Roberts and the ongoing connection since that time, Don wanted to find a way to encourage students to attend Roberts and finish their degrees. Developing a scholarship in memory of his son keeps the important things about Mark’s life at the forefront of his activities. About his son, Don states, “Mark was a great kid and always helping others. Since he is no longer able to help others as he did, by this scholarship I can carry on his way in his stead.”

Since both Don and Kay Lou were born in the Watertown area, he has committed the scholarship to students that attend Roberts from Lewis, Jefferson, and St. Lawrence counties. To date, twelve students now attend Roberts that have received the Mark Rickett Memorial Scholarship. Don is pleased that the first student to receive the scholarship will graduate this spring.


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