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Family legacy leaves $53K annually for local students

Penny Charman remembers her surprise when the diminutive yet commanding figure of Muriel “Mertie” Stevens unexpectedly greeted her by name on a tree-lined sidewalk in Oregon City in the late 1950s.

Stevens was not as stern as Charman imagined. Quite generous in life, Stevens was an investor, piano teacher and artist, whose will, after she died in 1968 at the age of 96, continues to award scholarships to dozens of Oregon’s college freshmen each year.

Charman and Bill Dolan of U.S. Bank help administer the annual scholarships totaling $52,998, with each student receiving $1,000 to $3,000. Applicants for the scholarship must be Clackamas County high-school graduates. Winners are selected for excellence in character, academics and community service.

This year’s awardees seek post-college careers in engineering, education, nursing and music.

The 37 college students awarded this year were: Keeley Aguon, Tovit Bezukhov, Susana Cardenas, Christopher Dang, Aleksandrs Drozdov, Casey Dudek, Vienna Hanthaley, Tabatha Kogle, Ronald Le, Samantha Nguyen, Sergey Pakhnyuk, Kyle Reed, Victoria Schuster, Sreyhiek Seng, Samuel Simmons, April Stephenson, Christina Baurer, Charles Bodreau, Elise Breshears, Hunter Dassonville, Amy Drake, Jessica Hansen, Anne Holiday, Myriah Klingler, Dmitriy Leonchik, Jessica Lussier, Amanda Martini, Hannah McFarland, Sara Nutter, Bailey Rathbun, Aaron Rouza, Mackensie Sempert, Felicia Sump, Shauna Thannickal, Sonia Thannickal, Krystal Wakefield and Joshua Williford.

One of the originators of the Clackamas County Historical Society in 1952, Stevens donated her 15-room 1908 classical foursquare home and its remarkable contents to the CCHS to be made into a museum. The home at 603 Sixth St. is maintained by volunteers like Charman, now a board member of CCHS.

Graduates interested in 2013-14 scholarships can apply via oregonstudentaid.gov by March 1.



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