The children of Jerry and Mary Ross are celebrating a long-time connection with the Notre Dame School System in Portsmouth by creating a scholarship at the Scioto Foundation in memory of their mother and father.
Son John Ross, a financial planner who lives in Toledo, established the scholarship with an initial gift on behalf of his brothers and sisters. The Mary and Jerry Ross Family Scholarship Fund will provide tuition assistance for Notre Dame students.
To be eligible for tuition assistance from the Ross Family Fund, students must attend Notre Dame High School in Portsmouth, Ohio and show good character and values espoused by the high school. The recipient must have been a participant in an athletic program the prior two years. Preference may be given to students involved in multi-school and multi-athletic activities. The student must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5/4.0.
A selection committee will choose the annual scholarship recipient. It will be composed of three individuals: a school administrator, a representative from the athletic department and a member of the Ross family.
Jerry and Mary Ross were natives of the Portsmouth area. Jerry graduated from St. Mary’s High School which existed before Notre Dame High School, and Mary graduated from Portsmouth High School. They were the parents of eleven children. Seven of their offspring graduated from Notre Dame High School, three graduated from West High School and one, Dan, attended Columbus St. Charles where he graduated and continued on to seminary.
Jerry was an auditor for Security Central National Bank and Mary was a housewife whose life was full of taking care of their large family. Both were strong in their Catholic faith and believed in a strong Catholic education.
They were always supportive of their children and involved in their many school activities, especially sports which the kids played in all seasons, according to Dan, the family spokesperson. Their parents believed that sports offered valuable learning in life’s lessons and created good citizens, he said. Three of the children received scholarships to play college football after they graduated from Notre Dame. Dan served as principal of Notre Dame High School from 1978 – 1981.
Along with following all the children’s activities, Jerry found time to participate in Portsmouth Little Theatre and directed the choirs of St. Mary’s Church in Portsmouth and Our Lady of Sorrows in the West Portsmouth area. Music was also important to the family.
“Our parents were very special people,” said Dan. “To us, setting up this scholarship fund for Notre Dame to help young people is a fulfillment of their beliefs. Helping kids is the main thing.”
Contributions to the Jerry and Mary Ross Family Scholarship Fund from family, friends, Notre Dame alumni 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 Ross Family Scholarship Fund or 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.