Juniata College is a small liberal arts school in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, about 125 miles east of Pittsburgh. The college was founded in 1876, and its alumni include esteemed scholars, doctors, scientists, artists, politicians and businesspeople. Two of these distinguished alumni are 1972 graduates Tim and Kathy Statton, who believe so wholeheartedly in the life-changing nature of a Juniata education that they established the Statton Family Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to Juniata students with medical issues or those whose family members have medical issues.
The Stattons, who live in Sonoma, California, developed the scholarship in response to their experiences raising their sons, David and Christopher. Born in 1977, Christopher Statton has severe hemophilia A. “We feel very fortunate we were able to have the resources to care for Chris and meet all of his needs through insurance and medical care,” says Tim Statton. “We could not imagine what life would have been like if we did not have the means.”
As Christopher grew, the Statton family coped with not only Christopher’s hemophilia but other health challenges as well. At age 2, Christopher contracted hepatitis C, and at 5 he was infected with HIV via contaminated clotting factor. Additional ailments, including pancreatitis and cancer, dogged him throughout his adolescence and young adulthood. His health problems meant his education was frequently interrupted. But Christopher persevered, becoming a noted artist, arts administrator and community activist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also studied at Oxford University in England.
Inspired by Christopher’s struggles and accomplishments, the Statton Family Scholarship originally was solely for students affected by a bleeding disorder or who had HIV. The scholarship then was broadened to include students with other medical issues and students whose broader family medical problems require them to seek financial assistance in paying for college. The scholarship covers up to 100% of a student’s costs to attend Juniata.
For Tim and Kathy Statton, their passion for helping students in need is matched by their love of their alma mater. Forty-six years after graduating, the Stattons remain big Juniata boosters. Tim Statton, a retired executive vice president and director at the San Francisco-based construction and civil engineering company Bechtel Group Inc., is currently chair of the college’s board of trustees.
“Juniata College shaped who we are today,” says Tim Statton of himself and Kathy. “The Statton Scholarship fund is a tremendous opportunity for anyone in the bleeding disorders community, or someone from a family with severe medical issues, to be able to afford a high-quality education and a transformative educational experience without taking on a significant amount of debt. To be able to graduate with little to no student debt and be a part of a deep and connected alumni base really sets you up for success.”
Learn more about the Statton Family Scholarship: Contact the college’s financial aid department.