Memorial Services Held for SLA Scholarship Donor
INDIANAPOLIS - Memorial services were held Friday, Nov. 19 for Sam Masarachia, a retired United Steelworkers of America representative whose $1.2 million gift to the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI established a scholarship program under his name.
Masarachia, 97, died Nov. 13.
The Masarachia Scholars Program was established at IUPUI following Masarchia's generous donation in 2000. Currently 12 students are enrolled at IUPUI as Masarachia Scholars. These students perform community service and complete internships as part of the scholarship program which provides full-tuition for up to four years.
Scholarships are awarded based on need and merit to students with a demonstrated interest in labor, senior and community advocacy.
The first three recipients of the scholarship, Evelyn Hovee and Bridget Tucker, both of Indianapolis , and Tim Moriarty of Carmel are scheduled to graduate this May.
"I wanted to do something for young people to give them a chance to get an education," Masarachia said in an interview in 2000. The donor's own formal education ended after the ninth grade.
Masarachia, whose parents immigrated from Sicily in the 1890s, quit high school to help provide for the family. In 1923 at age 17, he went to work at an Indianapolis saw manufacturing plant where he helped organize a union that successfully negotiated a pay raise, paid holidays, vacations and insurance coverage for employees. This lead to his 1941 appointment to a district staff position with the Steelworkers union, a position he maintained until his retirement in 1968.
Masarachia was a founding member of several organizations including the 16,000-member United Senior Action, Indiana 's premier independent senior advocacy organization, and what is now known as the Southeast Senior Citizens Center.He is survived by a brother, Vincent Masarachia of Indianapolis .