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UCO Alumna Establishes Scholarship To Honor Former Professor and Mentor

Feb. 6, 2013

Media Contact: Reagan Hamlin, Coordinator Public Relations and Marketing, UCO Development Office, (405) 974-3552,


Retired Navy Cmdr. Mary Jennings Katschke, a University of Central Oklahoma alumna, recently established the Virginia Peters Endowed Scholarship in the College of Education and Professional Studies to honor her mentor and friend, Virginia Peters, Ph.D.     

Peters, a member of the UCO Foundation Board of Trustees, was a standout UCO student athlete before joining the faculty in 1958. She both taught and coached at Central for 34 years, retiring in 1992.           

While Katschke was a student at UCO, she admired Peters’s dedication to her profession.

“When I first came to Central in 1961 as a freshman away from home for the first time, little did I realize that Virginia Peters was only eight years my senior.  Her maturity, wisdom, humor, leadership abilities, energy and sincere interest in each of her students and athletic team were improbable for someone her age,” said Katschke.

Katschke chose to establish the scholarship at Central so future generations of students would continue to benefit from Peters’s sincere devotion to education and positively changing lives. 

“Dr. Peters followed in the footsteps of her own mentor Emma W. Plunkett who truly believed in the words of Henry Adams: ‘A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”’           

The Virginia Peters Endowed Scholarship will be awarded in 2014 to a full-time undergraduate student majoring in physical education or health, with a 3.0 GPA.           

For more information, contact Judy Reyes-Henderson, development manager for the College of Education and Professional Studies, at or 405-974-2763.