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$500K donation creates scholarship for women in STEM at YSU

Gwendolyn Thomas Watson and Janet Thomas Shanklin previously made a $1.5 million contribution in 2018 to create the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Economics at YSU.
Marguerite and Paul Thomas
Marguerite and Paul J. Thomas. (Contributed photo)

YOUNGSTOWN — Gwendolyn Thomas Watson and Janet Thomas Shanklin, daughters of late Mahoning Valley businessman Paul J. Thomas, donated $500,000 to support YSU students in memory of their mother, Marguerite Kauffman Thomas.

The Marguerite Kauffman Thomas Scholarship was established with the donation at the YSU Foundation for YSU undergraduate and graduate women pursuing a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. 

"Our mother would be proud that her scholarship was advancing the academic careers of women in STEM," the sisters said in a news release. "She fiercely believed in education and the city of Youngstown."

In 1981, Paul and Marguerite established the Paul J. and Marguerite K. Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise at YSU. The colloquium offers workshops and lectures by established leaders in finance, business and economics.

The Thomases also have scholarships in accounting and finance.

''We are thankful for Gwen and Janet’s unwavering support of YSU and the YSU Foundation,” Paul McFadden, YSU Foundation president, said in the release. “Their generosity not only honors their parents’ memory but ensures their legacy continues to impact YSU students and the Mahoning Valley.”

Watson and Shanklin previously made a $1.5 million contribution in 2018 to create the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Economics at YSU.

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