Clarksville, TN –(APSU) alumnus Dr. Edward W. Chester (’62) recently made a gift of $100,000 to the Austin Peay Foundation to establish the Bonnie M. Chester Endowment to honor the memory of his late wife. Chester gave an additional $8,000 to fund scholarships during the investment period.
To be eligible, students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors enrolled full-time at Austin Peay State University with a major in biology.
Applicants must also have a 3.0 GPA. The scholarship is renewable for recipients who continue to meet the criteria each year. The Biology Department Scholarship Committee will select a maximum of two recipients annually.
Before retiring in 2008, Chester spent 42 years at Austin Peay State University as a professor of biology. After that time, he continued teaching part-time for eight more years. He now completes his research and writing as a professor emeritus. Most mornings, he can be found in the plant collection and greenhouse of the Sundquist Science Building.
Bonnie Morrow Chester was born on June 21st, 1944, in Henrietta, Tennessee, daughter of the late Lonnie and Blanche Thomas Morrow. She graduated from Clarksville High School and went on to attend Austin Peay, where she met Chester. They were married for nearly 56 years. Together they have one son, James Edward Chester, one granddaughter, Skylar Judith Chester, and one grandson, Gage Dean Chester.
Bonnie was a longtime employee of the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, where she worked as a bookkeeper before retiring. She was an avid seamstress who delighted in making doll clothes and decorative quilts.
Early in their marriage, she loved hiking trails with her husband. Chester said his wife later developed hobbies such as gardening, reading and sharing God’s love and life’s blessings with her grandchildren and all the neighborhood kids. He added that Bonnie was a dedicated Christian and a member of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. There she served terms as the treasurer, the children’s Sunday School teacher and worked on numerous committee assignments.
She passed away on Saturday, January 12th, 2019, at Tennova Healthcare after a short illness.
“Her acts of kindness ranged from a kind word and a shoulder to lean on, to a helping hand that took many forms. She was highly respected and loved by all who knew her. This endowment will continue her legacy of service and giving by perpetually providing scholarships in biology to deserving students,” stated Dr. Chester.
Endowments are permanently restricted funds managed by the Austin Peay State University Foundation. The amount of each scholarship award may vary and will be determined based upon the value of the endowment and the Foundation spending plan.
To support APSU fundraising initiatives, contact the Office of University Advancement at 931.2217127.