Gene Loyd Belcher of Cherokee, Oklahoma established The Gene Belcher Foundation Scholarship in 2013 prior to his death in September of 2015. The Foundation was formed to assist students from Northwest Oklahoma with their post‐secondary education expenses at any college, university, or technology center, specifically for high school graduates from Alfalfa, Grant, Kay, Major and Woods County.
Gene was born in Perry, Oklahoma and attended Lambert Schools before graduating from Northwestern Oklahoma State University with an education degree. He eventually obtained his Master in Education from the University of Oklahoma and served as school principal at Lincoln Elementary in Ponca City, Oklahoma before retiring to the farm in Alfalfa County.
Gene believed in the benefits of a post‐secondary education and set a fairly broad criterion to obtain and retain one of these scholarships. The scholarship is based on financial need for any students 15 years of age and older. Although one of the main targets of this scholarship is the traditional high school graduate, he also had a strong passion for young parents who may need a little financial assistance in order to obtain a degree.
Once chosen, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. These scholarships automatically renew as long as the students are in school and provide the necessary documentation to retain the scholarship through their undergraduate degree program. They must provide a copy of the previous semester transcript and upcoming class schedule at the beginning of each semester. All scholarship monies are paid by the administrative office directly to the post‐secondary school on the student’s behalf.
Gene was very humble and would be embarrassed to see his name in the press even if it’s for such a great occasion. He established this foundation as a way to return his good fortune to others. It is now evident that this will be one of the largest scholarship programs serving Northwest Oklahoma residents for years to come.