Sam Phillips ’91 and others endow Lora Lee Phillips scholarship

Ralph and Sam Phillips and the board of the Lora Phillips Foundation Trust have endowed a college scholarship at IUP. The Phillips family presented IUP President Tony Atwater with a $15,000 gift for the endowment at the IUP Legacy Gala at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 4.

Lora Lee Phillips

Lora Lee Phillips, 18, was killed in a 1987 traffic accident believed to have been caused by a drunken driver. Sam and Ralph, who are her brothers, are alumni of IUP.

Sam Phillips ’91, of Indiana, is interim assistant vice president for Administration at IUP. Ralph Phillips is president of Kensington Financial Services, Inc. of Lower Burrell.

“We have had a scholarship for three years at IUP that we fund through Lora’s Foundation,” said Ralph Phillips. “But now with this endowment, even if we’re not around, this will always be here in Lora’s memory. It’s no consolation to losing her, but it sure does make us feel good that they will be awarding this scholarship in her honor one hundred years from now.”

Through both the IUP and a Penn State scholarship, $1,000 will be awarded each semester to students who show financial need and demonstrate community involvement and strong continuing academic excellence.

Lora Phillips, a Kiski Area High School graduate, was the soloist with the Penn State stage band, was active in her Leechburg church, and was a volunteer at Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington. She was attending the New Kensington campus of Penn State at the time of her death, but was in the process of transferring to IUP for her junior year with the intention of graduating from the Indiana university as so many of her family members had done since it was known as Indiana State Teachers College.

Ralph Phillips, left, and Sam Phillips with IUP president Tony Atwater

Ralph Phillips, left, and Sam Phillips with IUP president Tony Atwater

Dr. Atwater said, “These endowments are extremely important to the university, because they provide stability for long-term growth to serve our students. And with the financial crisis, without these kinds of scholarships, many students wouldn’t be able to attend.”

Each year, the foundation and family holds several fundraising events to benefit the Lora Phillips Foundation and her scholarships at Penn State and IUP—including two Battle of the Bands at Penn State, a golf outing in the Indiana area, and a classic car and motorcycle rally in the New Kensington area.

In 2009, the twelfth annual Lora Phillips Memorial Golf Classic will be held at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Club in Blairsville on Saturday, June 6. The sixth annual Lora Phillips Memorial Motorcycle Rally will be held at Woodpeckers Grill in Upper Burrell on Saturday, October 3.

To date, the foundation has awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships at IUP and Penn State. The foundation has been presenting financial support to students attending Penn State since just after Lora’s death, and that scholarship is also endowed.

Students interested in applying for the scholarships can find applications in their respective financial aid offices, on line at LoraLee.org, or they can contact the Lora Phillips Foundation Trust directly at 724-334-1950 or via e-mail at info@loralee.org.

More information about Lora and the foundation can be viewed at a website created to honor Lora, LoraLee.org, through pictures and the words she left behind. The website also contains information needed to participate in the foundation’s many activities.