(L-R) Gayla McDaniel, Lori Heller (mother of recipient), Michael Heller (recipient of the 2015 Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship), Peggy Fuesting, and Phyllis Roytek
The Mattoon Area Community Foundation and members of the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship committee announced the recipient of the 2015 Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship at the 31st annual scholarship presentation luncheon on September 17.
Michael Heller, a 2011 graduate of Mattoon High School, was awarded a $2,500 scholarship to offset the cost of his current college tuition and expenses. Heller is a 2015 graduate of University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting. He is currently pursuing a master’s of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University with the goal of becoming a certified public accountant after graduation.
Friends and classmates of Arland D. Williams, Jr. serve on the scholarship committee and present the award each year. The 2015 scholarship committee consisted of Gayla McDaniel, Jack Collingsworth, Peggy Fuesting, Phyllis Rotek, and Mayor Tim Gover.
The Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship honors the memory of the late Arland D. Williams, Jr. who graduated from Mattoon High School. Mr. Williams became a well-known example of extraordinary heroism when his actions saved five people after a 1982 airplane crash in Washington D.C. His selfless actions cost him his life but his heroism lives on. The scholarship fund was established in May 1983 by Mrs. Virginia Williams, mother of Arland D. Williams, Jr. Since 1985, 31 scholarships have been awarded, totaling more than $68,500.