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Monroe County native honors parents with scholarship fund at WKU

Sept. 13 commemorates many special events for Dr. Delroy Hire and his family. This day marks what would have been his mother’s 100th birthday and his parents’ wedding anniversary.  Dr. Hire also has another reason to celebrate this day, and because of his generosity, students at WKU will benefit.

A new scholarship initiative that will aid students from two Kentucky counties and one in Tennessee was announced Thursday afternoon (Sept. 13) at the Allen County Board of Education in Scottsville.  The scholarship, made possible by a gift from Dr. Hire, will honor his parents, Osby Lee and Lillian K. Garrison Hire.

The Osby Lee Hire & Lillian K. Garrison Hire Memorial Scholarship Fund will benefit a student from Allen and Monroe counties in Kentucky or Macon County in Tennessee on a rotating basis and will be awarded every other year beginning in 2013.

Dr. Hire chose these three counties because of family ties.  His mother was born and raised in Allen County and her family history there can be traced back to the American Revolution.  Dr. Hire’s father was from Macon County and his ancestors can be traced back to the founding of the county. After they were married, the Hires moved to Monroe County. Osby Hire started running a country store and acted as Postmaster in Forkton, Ky.

“To make ends meet in the Great Depression, Dad ran a peddling route and Mom took over as Postmaster,” Dr. Hire said.  “Dad and a friend of his would later open a Western Auto Store.  A friend took over and the store remained open after the men were called to fight in WWII.”

Dr. Hire was born and raised in Monroe County and graduated from Tompkinsville High School.

“I think it’s an honor and privilege to do something in my parents’ memory. Mom and Dad spent their entire lives in these three counties,” Dr. Hire said.

Dr. Hire is a 1962 WKU graduate and a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine.  He is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical and Forensic Pathology.  After furthering his education, Dr. Hire enlisted in the Navy and served for more than 20 years.  He retired as the Deputy Armed Forces Medical Examiner based out of Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hire is pleased that he could continue his parents’ memory and assist others.  Each scholarship will cover a portion of students’ tuition for their first and second years of undergraduate study at WKU.

“I think that the real beneficiary is always the student. I don’t want to create the impression that it is about me,” Dr. Hire said.  “A scholarship isn’t really about the donor or my mom and dad– it’s a legacy that can be passed on to students in perpetuity. I think the winner is always the student.”

The Osby Lee Hire & Lillian K. Garrison Hire Memorial Scholarship Fund will be distributed through the College Heights Foundation.

“Through his generosity, Dr. Hire has demonstrated his devotion to his beloved parents,” said Alex Downing, President of the College Heights Foundation. “His actions will provide assistance and encouragement to students from Allen, Macon and Monroe counties in perpetuity and are evidence of his belief in the importance of education.”

Being able to honor his parents in this way, especially on a day that means so much to his family, is very special to Dr. Hire. “I would hope everyone would get to celebrate those events in such fashion,” he said. “It is quite an honor to be able to announce it on this day for our family history and traditions. One hundred years, that doesn’t come around every day.”

Dr. Hire previously honored his parents’ memory by sponsoring a lecture series on local history in Allen, Monroe and Macon counties.  Dr. Hire was also influential in the establishment of the Tompkinsville High School Class of 1959 Scholarship, which is in its fourth year.

“My interest is to always to help students and particularly WKU. That’s the ultimate goal,” Dr. Hire said. “I would encourage everyone to do this.”

Contact: Alex Downing, (270) 745-5266.

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