Summers Commemorates Wife's Birthday with $10k Scholarship to USAO
CHICKASHA -- A year ago, Bob Summers established a scholarship fund to honor the memory of Lorene Smith Summers, his devoted wife of 44 years. On May 22, he commemorated her birthday by giving an additional $10,000 to the fund.
Students in business at the University of Science and Arts will benefit from scholarships generated by the $85,000 corpus that bears her name in the USAO Foundation. Robert F. Summers II lives in Norman.
" She would have done anything for a college education," Summers said when he established the endowment. " It was never a lack of ability, just a lack of opportunity."
The late Amanda Bertie Lorene Smith was born in 1926 in Geary. The eldest of five children, she picked cotton to help support the family, who couldn't afford to send her to school. The family ended up in Chickasha, where she met Summers. They married in 1948 and raised two sons, eventually settling in Norman.
Determined to get an education, Lorene Summers went back to school and earned her high school diploma from Oklahoma City High School -- 20 years later than her peers. A lifelong learner, she took up painting and learned to quilt.
Lorene Summers died in 1993, and though she never went to college, her love for learning will support students earning business degrees at USAO -- through her husband's gift.
The Lorene Smith Summers Scholarship is a perfect tribute to her love for learning and their enduring marriage, said Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement.
" We are honored that our students will be the beneficiaries of Mr. Summers' generosity and of the enduring love and respect he has for his late wife Lorene."