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Lavonn Meier-McKnight’s
Legacy in Education is Celebrated

McKnight’s family establishes a scholarship

ALVA, Okla. (May 22, 2018)— Lavonn Meier-McKnight’s understanding of the opportunities made possible through education was perhaps reinforced by her own life journey when, as a recent widow and mother of a 16-year-old-son, she attended college to earn her Bachelor of Science in Education.

McKnight’s passion for early childhood education, however, remained solid to the lady who believed early academic success to a child would set a foundation for future achievement.

McKnight passed on Nov. 5, 2016, in Enid, Okla., leaving a legacy of a life dedicated to education and community service. Following her death, McKnight’s family established the Lavonn Meier-McKnight Memorial Scholarship with the purpose of investing in the lives of student-athletes majoring in education.

Her husband, Richard McKnight (Enid), and her son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Mike and Joy Meier (Alva), recently toured Northwestern’s Early Childhood Education Center and the Literacy Center with Dr. Bo Hannaford, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and Skeeter Bird, CEO, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association.

"Lavonn would be happy to see these centers here at Northwestern," said Richard McKnight. "Providing children with a solid beginning was in her heart as an educator."

Lavonn McKnight earned her undergraduate degree at Northwestern in 1973, and then earned her Master of Education degree with an emphasis in special education in 1976.

"Lavonn’s advocacy for education was constant," said Bird. "Her passion as an educator and her understanding of the importance of investing in education were undeniable. She brought her conviction to our organization in the time that she spent as a trustee and as a friend."

McKnight was a long-time educator serving Alva Public Schools, Garber Public Schools and Chisholm Public Schools. Before her retirement in 1991, she served as the principal at Chisolm Elementary until 1981 and then served as principal of the combined Chisholm Elementary and Chisholm Junior High Schools.

McKnight also was recognized as a civic leader in Enid. She was the driving force behind Enid Lights Up the Plans for Main Street Enid, as well as its first director. She served on the Board of Directors of RSVP for many years, as well as on the Board of The Child Advocacy Council.

Individuals applying for the Lavonn Meier-McKnight Memorial Scholarship must be continuing student-athletes majoring in Education with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. Students must complete the scholarship application form through the Financial Aid Office on any Northwestern campus. Preference will be given to the applicant who exhibits the combination of the highest levels of hard work, discipline, character, and academic and athletic excellence. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

For more information on the Lavonn Meier-McKnight Memorial Scholarship, or about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association CEO, at 580-327-8593 or email him at aebird@nwosu.edu.

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