WATERVILLE — A scholarship named for a graduate of Waterville Senior High School is now available to graduating seniors at the school.

Named for Mary L. George, the scholarship is worth $5,000 a year or up to $20,000 over four years, according to information provided by school officials.

The children of Mary L. George, a 1955 graduate of Waterville Senior High School, have established a scholarship in her name to benefit graduating seniors at the school. Photo courtesy of James O’Connor

The scholarship is to be awarded to two seniors, beginning with the class of 2022.

To be eligible, students must be planning to attend a two- or four-year college or advanced technical training, and remain in good academic standing for the scholarship to be renewed.

George’s family intends to continue the scholarship annually for graduating seniors, according to school officials.

George was born in Waterville, the youngest girl of 14 children. She graduated with honors in 1955 from WSHS. She then worked as a secretary at C.F. Hathaway Co. in Waterville, where she met, Jim O’Connor, whom she would marry.

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The couple relocated to Farmingdale, New York, where they raised five children.

George was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and died in 1976. At the time of her death, her children ranged in age from 2 to 15.

A foundation in her name was created by her children to honor her life and recognize her generosity, according to information from the school.

George’s son, James O’Connor, said he and his siblings had discussed creating the foundation in the past, but it was not financially possible until about a year ago. He said the family plans to sustain the scholarship and foundation into the future.

The selection committee for the scholarship is headed by two WSHS alumni.

O’Connor said his family is grateful for the support and feedback provided by school administrators to make the scholarship possible.

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O’Connor said his mother for years would donate her time to her children’s schools and give clothing, bicycles and, in one case, a used car to those in need.

“She was always very sensitive to people who might’ve had less,” O’Connor said.

Principal Brian Laramee said WSHS and its students are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of such generosity.

“The funding that this scholarship will provide students will help eliminate financial barriers,” Laramee said, “and provide opportunities to our students who may otherwise not seek out post-secondary education.”


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