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May 8, 2015
This story appeared in the spring 2015 edition of the Northwest Alumni Magazine. To access the magazine online in its entirety, click here.
The William L. Costello Scholarship will provide a total of $10,450 in financial assistance to Northwest Missouri State University students during the 2015-2016 academic year through the lasting generosity of its namesake.
Costello, a 1971 Northwest alumnus, established the scholarship in 2007 to annually assist Northwest students who graduated from East Mills High School in Malvern, Iowa. In 2012, Costello passed away at the age of 65 and has gifted nearly $470,000 to Northwest through his estate to benefit the scholarship fund and assist students seeking a higher education.
“You can’t get anywhere without an education,” Costello said at the time of the scholarship’s establishment. “It is hallowed, and people are fortunate to make the decision to get an education. This scholarship is my way to put a little something back for the next generation for all that my family has been blessed with education.”
Costello’s belief in education was embedded in the models set by his grandmother, who taught at Malvern High School and encouraged his studies, and his father, who insisted that his children receive a college education. In all, 10 of Costello’s grandmother’s 12 grandchildren earned college degrees, and that legacy is carried on today by Costello’s nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Malvern High School in 1965, Costello put himself through college at Northwest by working for a pipeline company each summer. Costello completed his Bachelor of Science degree after serving a year with the Kansas Army National Guard during the Vietnam War.
Later, he worked as a state revenue agent before returning home to join his father at Costello Insurance Agency in 1977. Three generations and nearly 100 years after Costello’s grandfather opened the company in Malvern in 1912, he sold the family business and retired after serving the community for 32 years. Costello’s Malvern roots ran deep and the William L. Costello Foundation was established though his estate last year to provide assistance to Malvern area nonprofit projects.
Recipients of the William L. Costello Scholarship at Northwest shall have graduated from East Mills High School in Malvern. Recipients are selected based on financial need with first preference given to entering freshmen and second preference to continuing students or transfer students. In the absence of an East Mills High School graduate, the award may then assist deserving graduates of any Iowa high school.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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