A homegrown scholarship is helping cultivate higher education opportunities for two Kansas State University veterinary medicine students from Franklin County.
Kotie Wootten, first-year veterinary medicine student from Ottawa, and Ellen “Elli” Ouellette Unruh, a second-year veterinary medicine student from Rantoul, are recipients of the R.E. Roseberry and Eileen E. Roseberry Scholarship established through the Franklin County Community Foundation. The renewable scholarship provides $10,000 per school year.
The Roseberrys owned a number of farms in Franklin County where they mostly grew soybeans and raised beef cattle. They also operated Roseberry Body Shop in Ottawa. R.E. “Rosey” Roseberry died in 2000 and Eileen Roseberry died in 2010. Through their estate, they left $4 million to establish the veterinary scholarship, as well as other funds to support a music scholarship at the university and a scholarship at the College of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri.
“I am convinced by what I have been told that R.E and Eileen Roseberry were truly exceptional people who were passionate about quietly sharing their wealth with the people within their community,” said Ronnie Elmore, associate dean for academic programs, admissions and diversity programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Not only will the recipients of their scholarships benefit financially immediately, but these students will be able to give back to their communities sooner following graduation. Educational debts will not be as large a burden for them as for many of their classmates.”
“I’m honored that the scholarship committee saw my education as an investment worth supporting,” Unruh said. “I am very blessed to be a recipient of the Roseberry Scholarship and thankful for the financial assistance I have received. Receiving the scholarship has a large impact on the size of financial burden I will have when I graduate veterinary school. It is my goal when I become a practicing veterinarian that I can give back to the community in ways similar to the Roseberry family.”
Unruh earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry from Kansas State University in May 2013. She is a graduate of Central Heights High School in Richmond.
Wootten said her grandmother saw the scholarship announcement in the local newspaper and thought she should apply.
“I never imagined I would be this lucky to receive a substantial scholarship that would instantly make going into veterinary school seem less stressful,” Wootten said. “Before I received this scholarship I was constantly worrying about how I would be able to afford it and I was trying to calculate how much I would need to work to make ends meet.”
Wootten has been working in the Kansas State University dairy unit, but said this will change when starts veterinary college in the fall.
“Receiving this scholarship will allow me to work less and focus my spare time on studying,” she said. “With having more time to study and learn out of the classroom setting, it will be easier to reach my goal of practicing food animal medicine.”
Wootten earned a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences and industry from Kansas State University in December 2012. She is a graduate of Wellsville High School.