North Central College - Naperville, IL

Class of 1951 commemorates classmate with scholarship

Classmates of Phyllis Ebinger ’51 were worried when she became very ill the winter of senior year. Within a week of being diagnosed with acute leukemia, the popular young woman died of the disease. “We’d prayed all that week that she would return to school,” says her brother Warren ’51 (who was two years older). She was Homecoming Queen that fall and the roommate of Mary Ritzman ’51 Ebinger, Warren’s future wife.

As the Class of 1951 collected generous donations for a 60th reunion gift, their thoughts returned to Phyllis. Those donations combined with memorials given at the time of her death now exceed $250,000. The class named their gift the Class of 1951 Endowed Scholarship In Memory of Phyllis J. Ebinger.

“We considered other options but we really want to use our gift to influence a student’s life, so they can capture some of the excitement we felt 60 years ago,” Warren explains.

The scholarship has been designated for a junior or senior in education and Phyllis Ebinger’s example of “representing the best of North Central” will be held as the standard. Adds Warren: “Phyl embodied all the qualities of giving your best, friendliness and personality, and commitment to scholarship.” 

North Central NOW Winter 2012