Scholarships for the town; an uplifting gift to Puxico

There's giving back to your community. Then there's Holigan-giving-back to your community.

Harold and Hermena Parks Holigan of Dallas set up a family scholarship to pay for any Puxico High School graduate who maintained a 2.75 grade-point average and are pursuing an undergraduate degree at Southeast Missouri State University or Three Rivers College.

An entire town of teenagers is being offered a full ride to attend college, and they can keep it as long as they remain a full-time student and maintain a 3.0 GPA in college.

Harold Holigan, after a successful career with AT&T, started his own business in 1982 that focused on the residential real estate market, including operations in manufactured housing, homebuilding, land development, land banking, property management and technology, according to a recent story by business editor Jay Wolz. Over the years, Wolz reported, the company developed more than 100,000 residential lots, built more than 8,000 homes and established more than 60 manufactured home communities across the United States.

"Hermena and I both grew up extremely poor there, and quite a few people around Puxico helped us," Holigan said in explaining why he and his wife want to fund college educations for Puxico graduates. "Looking back, what made the difference in our lives is the fact that we were able to attend college, and we know how hard we had to struggle to make that happen. Our thought process is there are many, many kids in Puxico today who might not have the opportunity to ever attend college, and we thought it would be one way we could pay back Puxico."

The scholarship covers any unmet needs after any other scholarships and grants are applied to cover tuition, fees, books and supplies.

Puxico High School has an enrollment of 201 students, including 46 seniors in the class of 2020.

What a gift that's being offered to these students. What a generous gesture on the part of the Holigans. Their financial gifts will empower young adults to learn at college, while also giving them financial relief for decades after attaining their diplomas.