Why I Give
Merlin Scholl, ED '51, MS '55, EdS '69, EdD '76
Some would say teaching is in Merlin Scholl's genetic makeup—both his mother and grandmother were teachers. Growing up near Mason City, Iowa, Merlin knew that he, too, wanted to be a teacher the day he 'fell in love' with his kindergarten teacher, Miss Hazel Ziegler. From age five, Merlin was committed to making a difference in the lives of young people.
Upon returning from World War II in 1947, Merlin enrolled at Drake University to study Education, Business, English and Social Studies. Merlin's educational expenses were supported in part by the Serviceman's Readjustmant Act of 1944 (G.I. Bill). Merlin was a serious student and actively involved in student organizations that helped him achieve his dream of becoming an educator. Over time, he earned three more degrees from Drake, all in the field of education and all because of his deep passion for education. His experience at Drake University was instrumental in achieving his goal of becoming an effective and inspirational teacher and school administrator. In 1986, Dr. Scholl retired from the Waterloo Community School District after 36 years of teaching service.
Dr. Scholl spent his entire career doing something he believed in—educating others. Inspired by an article he read in Drake Blue Magazine discussing the importance and need for a strong endowment, Dr. Scholl has included a provision in his Will designating a portion of his estate towards a scholarship named in his honor—the Dr. Merlin L. Scholl Endowed Scholarship. His primary reason for this bequest was to prepare more teachers which will, in turn, help more students. Merlin strongly believes that teachers can be a catalyst for changing lives which can have a ripple effect on others.
When asked why he supports scholarships, Dr. Scholl responded, "Education is expensive. Student's today have enough problems to worry about. Incurring debt for their education shouldn't be one of them. I hope I can alleviate some of this worry and make a college education possible for students."
Approximately 98% of the students who enroll at Drake directly from high school receive some form of financial aid. On average, students leave Drake with debt totaling more than $30,000. Thanks to Dr. Merlin Scholl, generations of young teachers will acquire the same life-changing Drake education he acquired years ago, with less financial burden and the ability to focus on their dreams to educate others.