The Scioto Foundation is pleased to announce a new scholarship endowment fund, the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship, established by Tanner Salyers in honor of his grandfather who has been a strong, influential figure in his life and the life of other family members and friends.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a graduating senior from Green High School with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Candidates must also show participation in athletics or other extra-curricular activities in school. Students may not attend the University of Michigan.
The volunteer scholarship committee of the Scioto Foundation will make annual selections of award recipients on behalf of the SF Board of Governors.
The son of Elihu and Clarice Elva (Prince) Salyers, William Ralph Salyers (who goes by Ralph) was born in 1946. His family moved to Ohio from Kentucky in the 1940’s and settled on Big Pete Road in Franklin Furnace. Ralph was one of 12 siblings and belonged to the huge family of Salyers who can still be found in the Franklin Furnace area today, according to Tanner.
Ralph and all his brothers and sisters attended Green High School. Green didn’t have a football team when he was in school, but his younger brother was on the high school team later. Since then there has always been a member of the Salyers family playing on every Green football team or attending the Green Schools.
Ralph worked as an Ironton police officer and as a laborer in several other jobs during most of his life. For some time he worked for the county government at the waste water treatment plant. He served in the military during the Vietnam War along with the Cincinnati Reds’ famed catcher Johnny Bench. One of Ralph’s most prized possessions is a photo of him with Bench during that time, said his grandson.
Ralph married his wife Helen (known as Jeanie) in 1967 and together they have two children, a son Shane who is a retired sergeant with the Ohio State Patrol, and Wendy, the mother of Tanner, who lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Ralph and Jeanie have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
His grandfather has always been kind of father figure to him and a constant presence in his life, Tanner said.
“He has always been very supportive of the community,” Tanner continued. “He was the voice of WNXT Radio announcing football games, especially the Wheelersburg High School State Championship game in 1989.
“Often his moniker has been ‘the Mayor of Franklin Furnace’ and he has always been very well known,” Tanner said. “He served on the Green School District’s Board of Education for three terms from 2005 – 2009. He has done a lot for his family and the community.”
“Setting up this scholarship acknowledges that as the patriarch of a very large family, he has been committed to his family, to his community and to serving his God; he has accomplished a lot in his life because of that,” Tanner explained. “He has helped a lot of his family members in life. We are eternally grateful for all that he has done. We want to show our appreciation to him and we want to help others, the students who will receive the scholarships.”
Tanner, who is currently the Knox County Recorder, formerly taught high school government and economics. His grandfather’s governmental activities and radio work have been formative in his own career and in the careers of other family members, he said.
Contributions to the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship Fund from family, friends, community supporters or the general public may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.
Additional information about the William Ralph Salyers Legacy Scholarship and other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Office – Donor Services, or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.