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$450,000 estate gift will create scholarship at Eastern Kentucky University

Will go to orphans and foster children

RICHMOND, Ky. (March 17, 2015) — Eastern Kentucky University has received a $450,000 gift from the estate of Charles Clay Thomas, of Lexington, that will establish the Charles and Lillian Ojanen Thomas Scholarship.

EKU logoScholarships will be given to EKU students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree who have been orphaned, have grown up in one or more foster homes, or are otherwise underprivileged and, in each case, lack the financial means to pursue a degree.

Charles Thomas graduated from Winchester High School in 1943. He served in World War II as a corporal with the United States Marine Corps, Sixth Marine Division, in Okinawa and China. After returning from active military service, he graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1949, adding a master’s degree in education in 1963.

He worked as an internal auditor with JCPenney and the University of Kentucky, and was vice president and controller for WLEX-TV. Lillian Thomas was a homemaker. The Thomases, who did not have any children, left 100 percent of their estate to charity, in particular public higher educational institutions in Kentucky.