Lillian R. Knecht and Roderick H. Knecht Memorial Scholarship

History of the Lillian R. and Roderick H. Knecht Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund

Lillian R. Knecht and Roderick H. Knecht

This scholarship is being established by Jeff and Sandy (Knecht) Eberts to honor the legacy and unrealized personal dreams of their mother-in-law/mother, Lillian R. Knecht and their father-in-law/father, Roderick H. Knecht.

Lillian R. Knecht was born in 1934, the fifth of six children, and was raised by her mother. Lillian's early schooling occurred in a one room schoolhouse where she often listened in on the older children's lessons. Because she loved to learn and had diligent study habits, she was able to skip ahead two grades which ultimately led to her graduating at age 16 from Nazareth Area High School, Nazareth PA. Lillian loved to read and was an incredibly happy, kind spirited, popular and outgoing girl. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, she fostered a dream to become a teacher—a dream that could not be realized because of extremely limited finances available to this depression era family.

A year after graduation, Lillian met the love of her life, Roderick H. Knecht. Roderick was seven years her senior and had just returned from WWII after serving with the U.S. Marines. Lillian and Roderick were married in 1951 when Lillian was 17 years old, and they were happily married for 67 years. Lillian poured her life into raising her family while instilling a keen interest in the value of education in all four of her children. She devoted herself to family, her church, and the community. Her Christian faith was evident to everyone she encountered—leaving all in her wake to feel loved and valued.

While Lillian never reached her personal dream of becoming a teacher, two of her four children became career educators. Her eldest daughter Sandy graduated from Millersville University and taught elementary school for 34 years, in PA, VT and CT. Her youngest son Brad graduated from Millersville University and taught High School Biology for 35 years in NJ and PA.

Jeff and Sandy Eberts have established this award to help young people, like Lillian Knecht, fulfill their dreams of becoming future teachers. They are specifically interested in supporting future teachers who have significant financial need, who are passionate about demonstrating the love of Jesus through their vocation and who desire to change the world by inspiring students through excellent teaching.

Who is Eligible for the Scholarship?

Recipients of this fund shall be selected by the Chair of the Education Department in consultation with the Financial Aid Office. Awards will be made subject to the following guidelines and conditions:

  1. Undergraduate student who is an education major; and
  2. Demonstrates significant unmet financial need; and
  3. Has a minimum 3.5 high school GPA entering Messiah; must remain an education major at Messiah to receive the award in subsequent years; and
  4. Maintains a cumulative 3.0 GPA

Amount of Award

This scholarship is to be used specifically for tuition fees and is designed to follow a particular student throughout their four year Messiah education -up to a total of $15,000 per student. Ideally, this scholarship will be awarded as follows:

Year Amount of Award
First Year $1,000
Second Year $2,000
Third Year $4,000
Fourth Year $8,000