Murray State University has announced the establishment of the Leah Vandergriff Memorial Scholarship, funded by gifts to the Murray State University Foundation by Leah's family and friends in her memory.
The scholarship will assist graduate students majoring in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) at Murray State.
Vandergriff was beloved in her Evansville, Indiana community for both the personal and professional facets of her life.
She worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 30 years, impacting the lives of her patients and her co-workers in countless ways.
She was known both as a proficient clinician as well as an influential mentor. In her personal life, Leah was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and friend who generously gave her love to those around her.
Early in her career, Leah met three coworkers who went on to become dear lifelong friends. These three friends – Beth Easterling, Laura Notich and Melissa Hacker – have joined with Leah's husband of 36 years, Steve Vandergriff to establish this scholarship to memorialize Leah's legacy.
They chose Murray State because Leah's daughter, Madison Vandergriff, is currently pursuing graduate study in Murray State's Speech-Language Pathology program.
"This scholarship is particularly special because it truly encompasses the past, present and future," said Dr. Stephanie Schaaf, academic and program director for Murray State University's Center for Communication Disorders.
"It honors Leah's life and career as an exceptional speech-language pathologist, it recognizes Leah's daughter, an undergraduate alumnae who continues her studies at Murray State in our graduate SLP program, and it will support future SLPs for years to come."
"The faculty in the Center for Communication Disorders see the financial burdens our students face and the challenges of working while completing a rigorous academic program," continued Schaaf.
"Scholarships are a rare and truly empowering gift that change our students' lives for years to come. In addition to thankfully accepting the monetary gift, Murray State faculty and staff treasure this moment to support Maddie Vandergriff as we honor her mother's legacy."
Other friends and family of Leah Vandergriff who would like to join in memorializing her legacy are encouraged to contribute to the scholarship and help it assist even more students.
The scholarship is currently open for applications and will award its first funds in the fall semester of 2024. Interested applicants can apply through Murray State's scholarship application portal through their myGate account and learn more about the scholarship opportunities for current students at murraystate.edu/scholarships.
Contributions to the scholarship fund can be made by contacting the Murray State University Office of Development at 270-809-3001 or by making a secure gift online at murraystate.edu/give.