Pi Chi Omega, the national fraternity for pest management professionals (PMPs), has been awarding scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in urban and industrial pest management since 1976. To date, more than $200,000 in scholarship support has been provided to 135 students. Many have become industry icons, like PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Bobby Corrigan (Class of 2008), who was the very first recipient.
The purpose of the scholarships is to bring young scientifically focused people into the pest management industry, and it has worked. The students Pi Chi Omega has supported over the past 43 years have flooded our industry with knowledge and passion, and they have made a lasting impact. Just as the Scholarship Committee was beginning to contemplate whether it should increase the number and size of its scholarships to make an even greater industry impact, a wave of new funding came rolling in.
The first wave of support came through an anonymous donation in the amount of $20,000 in memory of PMP Hall of Famer Norm Ehmann (Class of 1999). Norm was a leader in the pest control industry, educating the service and sales forces of pest control businesses by designing and implementing a national education program. This donation enabled Pi Chi Omega to add an additional $2,000 scholarship to the 2020 program.
At this time, the Norm Ehmann Scholarship will be awarded for 10 years; however, if an additional $30,000 in funds are raised, the scholarship will be made perpetual. Plans already are in the works to accomplish that.
The second wave of funding that rolled in was a $6,000 donation from the Orkin Franchise Owners Association (OFOA), honoring PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Austin Frishman (Class of 2002). During its annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., the OFOA held a fundraiser in honor of Dr. Frishman that would support the ongoing efforts of Pi Chi Omega’s scholarship fund. The OFOA’s members recognize the lasting impact Doc has had on the industry — and the need for ongoing research, development and training that will come from the next generation of industry professionals following in his footsteps.
OFOA President Todd Sawyer noted that “Doc has been a part of all of our learning and growth. Through his lifelong dedication, he has made an impact on every PMP, whether they’ve known him for 30-plus years as I have, or have never met him in person. The Pi Chi Omega scholarship fund is a clear path toward generating the next industry legends.”
Pi Chi Omega currently awards a perpetual Austin Frishman Scholarship annually in the amount of $2,000. The funds donated by the OFOA will help us meet the yearly financial commitment to fund $11,000 in scholarships.
The 2020 Pi Chi Omega Scholarship program has been launched and will now award five individual scholarships. In addition to the two scholarships already mentioned, we will award a $3,000 scholarship in memory of 1997 PMP Hall of Famer Dr. John Osmun; a $2,000 scholarship in memory of Alain VanRyckeghem; and a $2,000 Founders Endowment scholarship. Our scholarship application period for this year ends March 15, and we will announce the award recipients in early April.
If you are interested in continuing this wave of contributions, to further industry research and development, please visit PiChiOmega.org and click the yellow Scholarship Donations button. If you are interested in making a major contribution that would help us raise the funds needed to make the Norm Ehmann scholarship perpetual — or to the Pi Chi Omega Scholarship Program in general — please call us at 540-376-3617. Please note that, while Pi Chi Omega is a non-profit organization, we are not a charity; donations are not deductible on an individual’s tax return.
You can reach Mark Sheperdigian, BCE, vice president of technical services, Rose Pest Solutions, Troy, Mich., at email@example.com.