“Community leaders who come before us build high foundations for the rest of us to stand upon in order to see the future,” said Joe Framptom, CEO of Paducah Bank, about the lives and legacies of Dr. Wally Montgomery and Bill Schroeder.
“Dr. Wally Montgomery served his community and his country with the utmost dedication to both the human condition and to securing a more peaceful world. Bill Schroeder took an idea born at his kitchen table and, with his direction and dedication, literally put Paducah on the map of cultural sites in the world.”
At a recent ceremony at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, these two visionary leaders were honored by Paducah Bank with an initial contribution of $25,000 in memory of their long-standing devotion to their hometown and to WKCTC. The bank pledged a total of $100,000 over the next three years alongside a matching opportunity from Paducah Junior College, the foundation for West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Both Montgomery and Schroeder were Paducah Bank board members as well as staunch supporters of the college.
The donation will be divided evenly between the Dr. Wally Montgomery Scholarship Endowment and the Bill and Meredith Schroeder Scholarship Endowment for WKCTC students. With the bank’s annual donation, PJC’s match and other donations, the bank hopes a total of $200,000 will be added to the two scholarships by 2023.
“WKCTC is deeply honored to be the recipient of this major gift from Paducah Bank to the scholarship endowments of Dr. Montgomery and Bill Schroeder,” WKCTC President Anton Reece said. “These two gentlemen were giants and pillars of our community, and through their philanthropic legacy continue to have a major impact on the lives of our students. I would like to personally thank Joe Framptom and Paducah Bank for their generosity and support of education, which will remove financial barriers and create a pathway to a better education, career, life, and community for engaged citizens willing to give back, as these two local heroes did so exceptionally well.”
The Dr. Wally Montgomery Scholarship Endowment, established in 2010, provides scholarship funds for surgical technology students at WKCTC. The Bill and Meredith Schroeder Scholarship Endowment, also established in 2010, is not department-specific. It is for students studying in any field who meet the college’s general scholarship requirements.
Schroeder, founder of Schroeder Publishing Company and co-founder with his wife, Meredith, of the American Quilter’s Society, and Montgomery, award-winning local surgeon, were two of six original men who were vital in the formation of Paducah Bank Shares, Inc., the holding company for Paducah Bank, ensuring that it would remain a locally owned community bank to this day.
Montgomery joined the Paducah Bank board in 1981. He died November 3, 2019, at the age of 83. Schroeder joined the Paducah Bank board in 1986. He died May 13, 2017, at the age of 85.
“For many years, Paducah Bank had a close, personal working relationship with each of these great men,” Framptom added. “Their business and professional experience, along with their individual commitment to the concerns of this community, were unparalleled. These two exceptional Paducah citizens were models for each of us to emulate.”
Information about donating to the Montgomery or Schroeder endowments can be obtained by contacting Lee Emmons at 270-534-3084 or lee.emmons@ kctcs.edu.