Marking a Milestone
To mark the occasion of her father’s 80th birthday, Jan Josey Ehrhardt and David Ehrhardt of Birmingham established the John H. Josey Endowed Scholarship at the Honors College. The scholarship gift was a surprise to Josey, who has spent much of his life in volunteer service to the University on numerous levels.
“He has been involved in several fundraising campaigns, from Denny Chimes and the bells to the Libraries’ campaign,” said Jan Ehrhardt. “Now he’s focused on Honors College and the difference he can make in the lives of students.”
The scholarship was a fitting birthday gift for a man who made helping students with college a priority. Not only did he work his way through college selling Buster Brown shoes and on the 11 p.m. – 7 a.m. shift at the B.F. Goodrich plant, he also helped another family member pay for college at the same time. Josey and his wife, Carolyn Cobb Josey, gave high priority toward education in their family. Each of their three children have both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
His commitment to education at The University of Alabama has continued through the establishment of the John H. and Carolyn Cobb Josey Academic Walk-On Endowed Fund and contributions to the Libraries, Tide Pride, President’s Cabinet Fund, and the Never Should Have Made It Club.
When it comes to giving back, Josey says there are four critical elements with regard to gifts and helping others. “First, it has to be a need that might fall through the cracks if I don’t respond. Second, there has to be a strong belief that it will make a difference to the person or entity that might receive it. Third, it should be well managed after the initial gift.” But his final reason is the most compelling and could have the most impact in the years to come. “The fourth is a hope that somehow, down the road, the person or entity would give back because of the difference they experienced because someone helped.”
After years of helping others, Josey’s fourth element for giving seems to be doing just what he had hoped. Ehrhardt knows firsthand about her father’s gifts. She’s been the recipient of his kindness, generosity, and love for a lifetime. She’s fully understands his pleasure in giving back and is continuing his cycle of giving back.
The John H. Josey Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to an Honors College student who was not accepted into the program as an incoming freshman, but whose academic records have enabled them to join the program sometime after the first semester of their freshman year.