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New Scholarship at Catawba Established Through Estate Gift

May 12, 2014

Category: Academics, Alumni, Business & Economics, Gifts


seal-embossed.pngA recently established scholarship at Catawba bears the names of a 1939 alumnus and his wife thanks to a gift designated for that purpose in his estate. The Ralph and Eloise Sturkey Endowed Scholarship was created after the August 2012 death of Catawba alumnus Ralph Jefferson Sturkey, Jr.

Sturkey, who was born in Plum Branch, S.C., majored in Economics and Business Administration at Catawba. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and after completing Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va., he was commissioned in 1942.  He served with distinction as a staff adjutant to the Chief of Staff for Lieutenant General Keller E. Rockey, 5th Headquarters Battalion, 5th Marine Division, He participated in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa before serving with the Third Amphibious Corps during the occupation of Chingtao and Tientsin in Northern China.

Following World War II, Sturkey joined A.B. Dick, an office equipment company in Chicago, Ill., in 1945 as employee relations manager. He ascended to the position of vice president of human resources before his retirement in 1972.  Thereafter, he spent 22 years in Mt. Dora, Fla., as a private investor and then retiree, before returning to Salisbury in 2004. 

He was honored by his alma mater in 2005 as one of the five recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

He lived in Salisbury for eight years until his death.  His wife, Eloise Sunkel Tanis Sturkey, who survives him, makes her home in Jupiter, Fla.