The scholarship was established by Duane Walker, MaryAnne Walker's husband. Mrs. Walker died in January 2012.
According to release from the Joliet-based university, MaryAnne met Duane while he was teaching a college math course at another institution. She graduated from USF, and while she pursued a master’s degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the couple pursued a relationship and fell in love.
They were married in 1972. She became a dedicated teacher who worked for 10 years at Jefferson Junior High School in Woodridge, followed by 25 years at Romeoville High School. Her other accomplishments include co-authoring two calculus textbooks in the late 1980s.
When she passed away, the couple’s close friend Dominic delivered the eulogy, saying, “MaryAnne inspired and affected the lives of thousands of students for over 30 years. As the consummate professional, she set an example for her colleagues and assumed the role of math department chair with integrity, and of course, class. MaryAnne did everything with class."
Duane Walker felt his late wife could continue to inspire and educate young people in spirit by establishing the USF scholarship.
“MaryAnne loved to teach and cared about her students," Duane Walker said in the release.
"The scholarship allows her to continue to help others even though she is not with us physically. Those who will the award should know that she was dedicated to teaching excellence and loved mathematics. The scholarships are the best way that I can think of to honor her life and continue her presence in the lives of others today and in the future.”
The MaryAnne Walker Memorial Scholarship will provide financial aid to young mathematicians. USF juniors and seniors who are majoring in mathematics or education with a concentration in mathematics are eligible. One student will receive a $5,000 scholarship each year as long as he/she maintains GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Said USF’s Regina Block, “Duane’s decision to create the scholarship memorializes his beloved wife. It also provides an opportunity to assist a student who has a love for math and the desire to excel in the field. MaryAnne would be touched by this act of generosity.”
To learn more about this scholarship and others that have been funded in honor or memory of alumni and friends of USF, visit www.stfrancis.edu/support-usf/scholarships. There are nearly 70 opportunities for various students to receive aid through scholarships.