Lars Spinner wanted to do something spectacular.
On December 20, Randolph Central School officials and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation announced the establishment of The Spinner Scholarship, created from the estate of Spinner and its nearly $1 million gift to the Randolph community.
“This scholarship is a wonderful and unexpected gift from Mr. Spinner,” said Randy Sweeney, Community Foundation executive director. “It was his desire to instill in students the importance of an education and offer Randolph students the opportunity to financially support them on this journey towards higher education.”
Growing up on a farm near Malone, NY, not far from the Canadian border, Spinner worked hard to put himself through college. It was his determination and work ethic that led him to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indiana Institute of Technology and a master’s degree from SUNY Potsdam.
A veteran of the United States Army, Spinner served as a special agent to the Central Intelligence Agency. Following his service, he accepted a position as a senior consulting engineer at Xerox, Inc. in Rochester, and worked there until his retirement in 1998.
Although he frequented the hunting cabin on Woodmancy Road in Randolph for many years, it wasn’t until his retirement that he made this address his permanent home.
According to Gary Sickles, neighbor, and executor of Spinner’s estate, Spinner was a private man who kept to himself, but understood the importance of an education.
“He said to me, he had never done anything with his money,” Sickles said. “And that he ‘wanted to give back to his community!’”
Spinner passed away in January at the age of 82.
The nearly $1 million in Spinner’s estate was left with specific instructions to create a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation to benefit graduating Randolph Central School seniors. Students interested in applying for a Spinner Scholarship can pick up the special application in the Guidance Office at Randolph High School or download it by clicking here. Applications are due May 1.
The first scholarships will be awarded during the 2017-2018 academic year.