Scholarships – Local 

Opportunities available through the Russell County Area Community Foundation

The Community Foundation is a collection of funds designed to link donors with charitable causes. In collaboration with our donors, the Foundation strives to enhance all areas of life including, but not limited to, education, environment, civic and human services, health care and the arts. 

Murphy Memorial Scholarship  

Mike and Tonya Murphy spent their lives in Central Kansas. They are the third generation owners of Gorham Telephone Company. (George W. and Almira E. Murphy were the first and John L. and Judy A. Murphy were the second.) Gorham Telephone Company is an independent phone company that provides local service in the state of Kansas. The Murphy family believed that if you were an honest hard worker and you had the desire to reach a goal you could accomplish anything you set your mind to doing. Getting an education is one of the most important things you can do in your life and it is something nobody can take away from you. This scholarship is a way for the Murphy family to give back to the area the company and family served for over 100 years.

Any high school senior living in the USD of 299 (Sylvan-Lucas), 392 (Osborne), 399 (Natoma), 407 (Russell), 432 (Victoria) is eligible to apply. Recipients must display a strong sense of community involvement and leadership. Applicants may apply for renewals by displaying a strong sense of community involvement and leadership. The applicant also must maintain a 2.5 GPA or better.

Scholarships are awarded annually by semester or the next available enrollment date if the winner is on an enrollment waiting list. All scholarship money will be paid directly to the school. Recipients must be enrolled as full-time post secondary students.

A scholarship committee consisting of three (made up of one family member and the chair and vice chair of the Russell County Area Community Foundation Board) will make a recommendation to the Russell County Area Foundation board. The Foundation board will announce the winners in April/May of the current year.

Completed applications must be received at the Russell County Area Community Foundation business office in Russell. Incomplete or late applications will be disqualified. Please mail completed applications to: Russell County Area Community Foundation, Attn: The Murphy Memorial Scholarship Committee, PO Box 172, Russell, KS 67665.

More information and the application are available at

Scholarships – National

Opportunities available through the Foundation for Rural Education and Development 

The Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO) created the Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED) to address the educational and developmental needs of rural areas. The Foundation’s mission is to sponsor programs and activities that improve the educational, social and economic conditions of rural areas. FRED carries out this mission by raising funds to sponsor scholarships, awards and programs that directly benefit rural America. Gorham Telephone Company is a member of OPASTCO and is proud to have nominated two FRED Scholarship winners in recent years. 

Scholarship Program

Each year, the Foundation for Rural Education and Development awards scholarships to rural America’s most accomplished and intelligent students. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are funded by the FRED Scholarship Endowment and by donations to the FRED Annual Giving Campaign. 

To apply for any FRED Scholarship students must live in or attend school in an OPASTCO member’s service area.

The FRED website,, contains further information on scholarships, including sample financial need statements, nomination letters, letters of recommendation and other helpful hints. 

Leadership Through Learning Program

The Leadership Through Learning (LTL) program provides a hands-on approach to education. Select rural high school juniors and seniors from across the U.S., are invited to spend an all expense-paid week in our nation’s capital to learn about government, civic affairs and telecommunications regulation. The program offers these students an opportunity to interact with their peers from rural communities across America.

This program is open to high school juniors and seniors who live in the service area or attend high school that is served by a nominating OPASTCO telephone company member.