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Family Continues Tradition of Establishing Scholarships at Catawba College

August 31, 2005

Category: Academics, Alumni, Students


Mark Frantz and wife Megan of Arlington, Va. thought a perfect way to celebrate their own first-year wedding anniversary on May 8, 2005 would be to establish a scholarship at Catawba College in honor of Mark’s parents.   So, now, there is the Jack and Shirley Frantz Endowed Scholarship, a tribute to both, but especially meaningful to Jack who is a member of Catawba’s class of 1964.

Mark and Megan’s tribute to Jack and Shirley follows a similar one which Jack and his two siblings, Nevin R. Frantz Jr. and Carol Frantz Pontius, made more than a dozen years ago to the memory of his late parents, the Reverend Nevin Richards and   Kearney Kay Frantz, both Catawba alumni from the class of 1933.   The tendency of the Frantz family to establish scholarships at Catawba is one that benefits deserving students and is deeply appreciated by College administrators.

“Catawba College has held a special place in the hearts and minds of several generations of this family,” explained Catawba Senior Vice President Tom Childress.   “They realize the value of an education and recognize the importance of always giving back to help future generations of our students.   In this way, the family name and its legacy endure.”

Preference for the Jack and Shirley Frantz Endowed Scholarship will be given to a student at Catawba with a grade point average of 3.2 or greater who is majoring in Information Systems, Mathematics, Business Administration or Education.

“Watching Dad’s face when I showed him the paperwork for the scholarship was priceless!” recalled Mark Frantz.   “He has such a deep love for Catawba and credits his years at the school with launching him on a successful path in life.   Over the generations, Catawba has provided our family with many fond memories.   These scholarships allow our family to give back to the college community by helping students prepare for their futures, as well as create fond memories of their own.”

“The scholarship fund was a real surprise to Shirley and I, and such a thoughtful and gracious contribution Mark and Megan made to Catawba College. We truly are grateful and pleased a deserving student at Catawba will benefit” Jack noted.

While a student at Catawba, Jack Frantz served as vice president of the student government association and as class president of his freshman and sophomore classes.   He majored in physics and mathematics and chose to continue his education after his Catawba graduation, earning his Masters in Computer Information & Control Engineering from the University of Michigan.   He is employed as a computer engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.   His wife, Shirley, is retired as a member of the executive office at Hecht’s.   The two make their home in Laurel, Md., and are parents of sons Mark and Brian.

“We’re both very family-oriented individuals, and we are very hopeful that whoever receives the scholarship shares this same characteristic,” explained Megan Frantz, noting that she and Mark had also established a scholarship at the University of Maryland to mark the 40th wedding anniversary of her parents, John and Irma Jean McNelia, who are alumni there.

Mark Frantz is a partner with the Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity groups in the world.   He earned his undergraduate degree from Alleghany College and both his law degree and M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.   Megan Frantz is an assistant vice president responsible for commercial lending with Silicon Valley Bank, a financial services firm that caters to technology and life science companies.   A native of Silver Springs, Md., she graduated with honors from the University of Maryland.

Endowed scholarships at Catawba are established with gifts of $10,000 or more.