The Myra Taylor Herron Fund
The Myra Taylor Herron Fund will support underrepresented students in their academic endeavors while at Gettysburg College. Upon undergoing an extensive application process, recipients will use their award to engage in the opportunities that compound the Gettysburg College experience. These include: studying abroad, participating in immersion trips, and/or taking advantage of research and career-driven internships.
We recognize that it is not simply a matter of whether or not students want to participate in these opportunities, but more so about whether they can. We understand that some obstacles may be academic, some are rooted in competing demands from home and family, but we have seen that financial barriers are the most prominent. Thus, we are creating this fund to alleviate some of these financial burdens and support students in pursuing opportunities that they otherwise may not.
The goal of the Myra Taylor Herron Fund is to create an accessible avenue for one to further their learning so that they may one day lead that immersion trip that they have always dreamed of leading, participate in that prestigious unpaid internship that will further their career interests, pursue opportunities at the Eisenhower Institute, or to study abroad in a country that they may know nothing about.
In 1963, Myra Taylor Herron became the first African American woman to attend Gettysburg College. While she witnessed the struggle for racial equality across the United States, she made the hard decision to attend a predominantly white institution and prove to herself and the world that she truly had the potential to thrive, regardless of a challenging environment. Myra’s experience in college was nothing like the experiences of her peers. In addition to focusing on her studies to perfect her musical crafts, Myra committed herself to improving the campus community by inviting and hosting prospective historically underrepresented students to Gettysburg College through a program called “Operation First Step.” In 1965, Operation First Step was created to ensure that students became part of a safe and academically enriching environment as the College began to diversify its student body. Her ability to critically analyze the needs of the campus and to initiate action is inspiring and truly exemplifies the core values of the College. These efforts were important and necessary in the 1960s and as the world develops, prove to be relevant today. Mrs. Herron’s legacy has made it possible for future generations of historically underrepresented students to know that they too can thrive in the midst of adversity. For that, we are dedicating this fund in her honor.
Our application will be available mid-August through the Office of Multicultural Engagement. Please consider donating to the Myra Taylor Herron Fund. All of the proceeds will go directly to awarded recipients. Thank you again for your time and your support!