ASPRS Foundation Receives First Transfer of Scholarship Funds from Region

The ASPRS Central Region has transferred its Francis E. “Gene” Lortz Memorial Scholarship, totaling $24,000, to the ASPRS Foundation. This is the first such transfer in the history of the Foundation.

In February 2007, the ASPRS Executive Committee endorsed a proposal from the ASPRS Foundation to accept ASPRS Region Award Investment Funds for management by the Foundation. Several ASPRS Regions had approached the Foundation with the request to have their awards and scholarship funds managed by the Foundation because they believe that it is likely that the Foundation, with its larger portfolio, could obtain better returns on these investments.  The Foundation will accept funds on behalf of an ASPRS region with the provision that the funds to be invested are solely for the purpose of supporting the endowment of the region’s awards and scholarships program.  Each ASPRS Region’s board of direction seeking fund management by the Foundation must approve a resolution acknowledging the Foundation’s policy for acceptance of region award investment funds prior to acceptance of region funds by the Foundation.

Gene Lortz Memorial Scholarship
The Lortz Scholarship was created in 1989 to honor Gene Lortz, who was serving as the ASPRS Rolla Region National Director at the time of his death. Initial donations of $265 were raised the old fashioned way, through bake sales, penny raffles and a bratwurst picnic! Through hard work, good fellowship and generous personal donations the Lortz Scholarship grew rapidly, and in October of 1991 the fund had grown to $ 6,231.57. The first Lortz Scholarship in the amount of $250 was awarded in 1992 to Dale Troup of Southwest Missouri State University. Troup was the president of the SMSU ASPRS Student Chapter.

With watchful financial management of the fund by the Central Region’s long time Treasurer Jerry Wagner, it has grown to over $24,000 today. The annual scholarship to both a graduate and undergraduate award of $1,000 is now fully endowed.

The transfer of the Lortz Scholarship from the Central Region to the ASPRS Foundation will ensure that the memory of Francis E. “Gene” Lortz lives on into the future and that the scholarship remains fully endowed. “The Central Region Officers thank Jim Plasker, ASPRS executive director, and Mike Renslow, ASPRS Foundation treasurer, for their guidance on this transfer,” said Scott Perkins, former President of the ASPRS Central Region. “The process is well defined and was executed in a timely and professional manner. We strongly encourage other regions to consider the benefits of transferring their scholarship funds into the ASPRS Foundation.”

Tom Lillesand, president of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, underscored that, "The Foundation’s stewardship of funds raised at the region level is one more important step toward our overall goal of helping to create and endow numerous and sustainable sources of support to attract and honor members of our profession. We thank the Central Region for becoming a pioneer in this facet of the Foundation’s overall program." 

Founded in 1979, The ASPRS Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization established to provide grants, scholarships, loans and other forms of aid to individuals or organizations pursuing knowledge of imaging and geospatial information science and technology, and their applications across the scientific, governmental, and commercial sectors. The Foundation is the primary funding source for all non-sponsored awards and scholarships recognized by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.