The Marshall University Foundation has announced a gift of $1,715,949.13 toward the College of Education and Professional Development bequeathed by Hazel Shrader, a three-time graduate of Marshall University.
“Hazel would like to help any student who is trying but needs help,” said Barbara Holesapple, a friend of Shrader’s. “She would be pleased to know she is helping someone.”
Shrader earned a normal teaching degree in 1942 from then-Marshall College. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in education, in 1943 and 1952, respectively. According to Shrader’s friends and family, her time at Marshall was her proudest moment and she decided to leave a gift so others would have a chance to go to college.
“She really appreciated her time there,” said Doris Ann Taylor, cousin, friend and former student of Shrader’s. “She would be very happy that the money is to be used as she intended.”
On Oct. 5, Holesapple, Taylor and Connie Copeland, a friend of Shrader’s, traveled from Monroe County to Huntington to hand-deliver the check and to pose for a photo in Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall with Teresa Eagle, dean of the College of Education and Professional Development, Scott Anderson, chief financial officer for the Foundation, and Ainslie McKinney, program director of legacy giving and administrative services for the Foundation.
“We are a service profession,” Eagle said. “We teach our students to ‘pay it forward.’ Giving back is so important. We are excited to tell Hazel’s story and we hope it makes a difference to people.”
Shrader was born on Aug. 24, 1922, in Pickaway in Monroe County, West Virginia. At 16 years old, she graduated from Union High School in 1939 and was class valedictorian. Apart from her time at Marshall, Shrader lived in Monroe County her entire life and taught for 45 years.
Shrader’s first teaching job was Willow Bend, a one-room school, followed by Reynolds School and Mt. Prospect School on Knobs Mountain. She then taught at Glace School, Dewey School, Belleview School, Sinks Grove Elementary School, and lastly, Union Elementary School where she taught for 23 years before her retirement.
In addition to her responsibilities in the classroom throughout the school year, Shrader also taught Head Start for 12 weeks in the summer for 22 years. In all her years of teaching, Shrader never took sick leave and only missed four days of teaching after her mother died.
Shrader taught all different grade levels, but she spent most of her career teaching reading to first graders. She was named Monroe County’s Reading Teacher of the Year in 1987, the same year she retired, Taylor said.
It is with that in mind, Eagle said, the college will decide how best to use the gift, which will most likely include scholarships, particularly for students whose focus is teaching reading.
Following her retirement, Shrader traveled with friends on cruises to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and Panama. She also went on Elder Hostel and Just Older Youth (JOY) trips, shopped and spent time with her best friend, Mayo Lemons, and crafted dolls.
Shrader took great pride in being a member of Delta Kappa Gamma for 50 years, as well as a member of the Monroe County and West Virginia Reading Councils and was a life member of the Monroe County Retired School Personnel.
Since 1933, she was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church where she served as the church treasurer and youth Sunday school teacher. She was an active member and officer of the United Methodist Women. She also had been a member of Pickaway Community Educational Outreach Service.
After her father’s untimely death in 1946, Shrader operated the family farm until she was 62 and continued to mow the lawn until she was 83. Shrader died on Aug. 15, 2022, nine days shy of her 100th birthday.
To learn more about planned giving, visit marshall.mylegacygift.org.