Manning alum donates $100K for college scholarships
December 16, 2013
Lyle Schrum donated $100,000 to Manning last week to create a scholarship fund for student athletes. Joining Schrum in the presentation are (front, from left) Kari Ranniger, Nancy Schrum, Lyle Schrum, Susan Davis, Jan Ranniger (second row) Galen Ranniger; Jay Sohn, financial advisor; Brian Wall, high school principal; Abbey Stangl; Cindy Renz, foundation officer; and Todd Stadtlander, foundation president.
Manning alum Lyle Schrum returned to his hometown Wednesday to give the IKM-Manning School District $100,000 to establish a fund for college scholarships for one female and one male student-athlete each spring.
"I grew up in Manning, and athletics was such a part of my growing up," said Schrum, now of Des Moines. "I haven't lost track. Things get accomplished in Manning. I discussed giving something back to my hometown and thought athletics would be a good area."
Schrum, 87, graduated from Manning High School in 1943. He played basketball and football for three years, and baseball for four.
Athletics build character, Schrum said. In his time on the basketball court, players were not allowed to go to the sideline and converse with the coach. The coach could send in one sub to explain the plays he wanted to make, but most of the time it was up to the players to work together and figure out a strategy.
"They could let us play," he said of the coaches. "We had to learn different positions, how to fit into a team, adjust our plays, when to double-team a guy, when to get more rebounds. It taught us to be independent and think about what's happening."
Basketball was his favorite sport to play, Schrum said, recalling his freshman year when his team's record was 24-0 and won four tournaments. He also recalled a heartbreaking championship loss to Atlantic, where they drove through the lane to win the game.
"You have to learn how to lose, too," he said.
After high school, Schrum wanted to attend college, so he hitchhiked to Simpson College in Indianola, where he was told he could receive a $100 scholarship. On his way home to Manning, he stopped at Drake University in Des Moines, which offered him a scholarship that covered his tuition. He said he also washed dishes and made donuts to save what money he could.
"I went four months at Drake, to prove I could do it, then the war came," Schrum said.
Schrum enlisted in the U.S. Navy to serve in World War II. When the war ended, he completed his degree at Michigan University on a military scholarship. He returned to Iowa to work in the coding and reporting department at Hawkeye Security in Des Moines.
"It sounds mundane, and along the way I wanted to know how I fit into the team. What the hell were we coding for?" he said, earning a laugh from the small group of family members and school officials gathered in the doorway of the Manning High School central office. "I learned it was a part of rate-making. Suddenly it was not mundane, it was interesting."
Coding was later important in the use of computers as well. After 40 years, Schrum retired as vice president of management information at the company.
When he decided to donate money to Manning schools, he discussed the idea with his daughters, Nancy Schrum and Susan Davis, who supported him wholeheartedly. Schrum cashed out his individual retirement account. The goal is to invest his $100,000 donation in a fund that yields about a 5-percent return, which would allow for two $2,500 scholarships to be given each year.
"We've had other donations, but they are mostly memorial scholarships," IKM-Manning principal Brian Wall said. "This will be the most significant scholarship of this nature available. The fact that it is local is a big deal."
According to Amy Bemus, high school guidance counselor, the Lyle Schrum and Eleanor Southerland Scholarship will be available to any IKM-Manning high school senior that participated in athletics at some point during their high school career. They do not have to continue athletic participation in college to qualify. Students do not need a coach or teacher recommendation to apply.
Starting in the spring of 2015, the goal is to offer one male and one female student a $2,500 scholarship. For the spring of 2014, two $1,250 scholarships will be available, Bemus confirmed.
"Anything we can do to maybe help someone go to college and get a start," Schrum said. "It's not much by today's standards, but maybe it will help."
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