Reading and Lock Haven, Pa. -- Albright College and Lock Haven University are the beneficiaries of a $3 million trust that will provide scholarships to the two institutions for graduates of Reading High School in Reading, and Clearfield High School in Clearfield.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The two institutions will share equally in the annual income from the William Sote Charitable Trust, established to be used solely to provide scholarships for students who have graduated from the two high schools. In 2009, funds distributed to each institution for scholarships will amount to about $60,000.
The Sote Trust was established by the late William and Twila Sote in 1998. Twila Sote died in 2001, and William Sote died in 2008 at the age of 102.
Born in 1905 in Germany, William Sote came to the U.S. in 1924 and moved to Reading in the early 1930s. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II, and after the war worked at Luden’s Candy Company as a machine set up and maintenance technician, a job he held for the remainder of his career. He met and married Twila Matthew Sote, the sister of an Army friend and a graduate of Clearfield High School and Lock Haven University, and the couple made their home in Reading on North 13th Street, two blocks from Albright College. Twila Sote taught fourth grade at 13th and Union Elementary School (across the street from Albright) until her retirement in 1971. William Sote retired from Luden’s in 1969.
In 1998, the Sotes placed $2 million in a trust which would, after their deaths, provide scholarships for Clearfield and Reading High students to Lock Haven University, where Twila Sote had received her teacher’s training, and to Albright College, where the couple had attended many cultural events and lectures over the decades.
According to a narrative by a trust officer, Carl Trettin, “Bill’s early hardships impressed on him the need for knowledge and skill to progress in life, fostered appreciation for a helping hand and steady determination in moving forward to accomplish personal goals. Now Bill and Twila give back to following generations the product of their often difficult but enormously productive and useful lives.”
Stephen Lee, director of admissions at Lock Haven University, stated, “We are honored by the generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Sote. This gift will help fund an education at Lock Haven University for many students who might not otherwise think they can afford to enroll. We sincerely appreciate this gift and look forward to using it to help Lock Haven University students in the future.”
“This generous gift is a true legacy,” said Gregory E. Eichhorn, vice president of Enrollment management and dean of admission at Albright. “It will allow Albright College to help more worthy students from Reading High School to attend the College, now and into the future. These students are our neighbors. Many of them graduated from the elementary school where Twila Sote taught. We are thrilled that we will be able to provide more opportunities for talented students with great need.”
Founded in 1856, Albright College is a nationally ranked, private college with a rigorous liberal arts curriculum with an interdisciplinary focus. The College’s hallmarks are connecting fields of learning, collaborative teaching and learning, and a flexible curriculum that allows students to create an individualized education. Two-thirds of students graduate with dual/individualized majors in more than 200 different combinations. Albright enrolls about 1,625 undergraduates in traditional programs, another 500 adult students in accelerated degree programs, and 100 students in the master’s program in education. Albright College is located in Reading, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles west of Philadelphia.
Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Founded in 1870 to train teachers, the university has for more than 130 years provided students from central Pennsylvania with the opportunity for higher education. The university is known for its initiatives in the use of technology (including its student laptop requirement), diversity (including its study abroad program), and student engagement (including community service and its annual Celebration of Scholarship). With a student enrollment of approximately 5000 students on its Lock Haven and Clearfield campuses, Lock Haven University offers 57 majors and certifications with 40 minors. The university retains its personal, small-college atmosphere, while providing a high-quality university education.