Amelia C. Schuh Scholarship
This scholarship bears the name of Amelia C. Schuh, but the story behind the scholarship is really that of Dr. Mary R. Stauffer, Amelia’s daughter. Mary created the scholarship as a lasting tribute to her mother. She was a physician who had a private practice in Downey, California, for 54 years. Mary was married to Floyd, also a physician, and the couple had met while working on their medical degrees at Ohio State University’s School of Medicine. Their family ultimately included five children—three daughters and two sons. The Stauffers shared 70 years of marriage before Floyd’s death in 2013 at age 97.
Mary Stauffer was the daughter of a well-known German Lutheran couple, Amelia Schuh and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Henry Frederick Schuh. Dr. Schuh was one of the honorary Fellows of California Lutheran College at its inception. A figure in Lutheran circles nationally and internationally, Dr. Schuh served as president of the American Lutheran Church from 1950 to 1960. He continued to be an international Lutheran leader for many years until his death in 1965. Amelia was his partner through life, admirably fulfilling her role as pastor’s wife. German was their first language. Amelia visited the campus of CLC in 1978, shortly after Mary created the scholarship in her mother’s name. Amelia lived to be 107.
Professionally Mary was very successful, and Downey came to be more than just her place of business. She truly invested herself in the growth and development of the city. Her philosophy toward stewardship was to spend her wealth on the people and the town where she had earned it. Long before retiring, she began to develop her unique style of philanthropy by creating the Mary R. Stauffer Foundation whose mission reflected her desire to invest in the lives of people through education. One of her early programs was to provide computers to the Downey middle schools and another was to offer scholarships to Downey high school students for college. Efforts to attract Downey graduates to CLU were minimally successful, but many students were motivated to use their scholarships at the local community college. And as recently as 2013 the foundation was making grants to teachers who had special unfulfilled goals for their classrooms.
Consistency is the word that perhaps best describes Mary’s life and personality. She graduated from medical school at the very top of her class and continued to regard academic excellence as a valid goal for every student. Her values are also reflected in the criteria of the scholarship. The endowed Amelia C. Schuh Scholarship, first awarded in 1978, is one of very few CLU scholarships based entirely on academic merit. The recipient must be a student who is beginning his/her sophomore year with the highest academic ranking in the sophomore class. It is clearly an honor to receive this award.