News Archive

Meredith Kathryn Berryhill Fitzgerald Scholarship established

A new endowed scholarship has been established in the Lamar University Foundation. The Meredith Kathryn Berryhill Fitzgerald Scholarship will provide funding for full-time sophomore, junior and senior students majoring in Education. The scholarship was originally established by William “Bill” Fitzgerald in memory of his wife Meredith Fitzgerald who died August 3 at the age of 92.

“This endowment is really encouraging,” said Hollis Lowery-Moore, dean of the College of Education and Human Development. “It will enable Lamar Educator Preparation students to follow in Mrs. Fitzgerald’s footsteps and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide the best possible educational start for young children.”

Meredith Fitzgerald was born January 1, 1921 and grew up on a farm near McKenzie, Tennessee. She was a graduate of Bethel University in McKenzie and received advanced graduate degrees from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She moved to Beaumont in 1951.

After graduating from college, she enlisted in the United States Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), serving for two years during World War II. It was during this service that she met and married William (Bill) Fitzgerald, her husband of sixty-eight years, who was also enlisted in the United States Navy.

Fitzgerald was a retired teacher from South Park Independent School District and a charter faculty member of Regina Howell and C.W. Bingman elementary schools. She spent the last 14 years of her teaching career as an educator at Lamar University where she helped develop the kindergarten curriculum degree program.

Fitzgerald became attached to her students, both the young and those in college, and was a great influence in their lives, as evidenced by her large collection of thank you letters.

She was a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and later Who’s Who Among Early Childhood Education Specialists. She was also a charter member of Trinity United Methodist Church and an active member of the Friendship Sunday School Class, having served as treasurer and president of the class numerous times.

Meredith Fitzgerald loved her family and greatly enjoyed family gatherings. The family enjoyed traveling and spent summer vacations seeing America from their recreational vehicle.

After retirement, the family visited six of the seven continents. She enjoyed the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) Airstream Club and her many friends from there. She enjoyed reading and playing card games. She also belonged to a book club, a bridge club and the Lamar Women’s Club.

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.