Charles Harkins did much to shape the minds of Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Education majors over his 48-year tenure at the College. On Feb. 21, he made it clear that his 2018 retirement would not mark the end of that support when he established two perpetual scholarships – the Margaret "Peggy" Harkins Memorial Scholarship fund and the Chuck and Margie Harkins Teachers 2000 Scholarship fund, both of which will benefit education majors.
A graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), Harkins joined Gloucester County College (now RCGC) in 1970. During his tenure, he not only taught a variety of English courses, but also served as assistant to the President in charge of Public Relations, created the College's first developmental studies program, and coached men and women's cross country and track and field for 15 years. In 1999, he lead a team of educators who developed and launched RCGC's innovative Teachers 2000 (T2K) program, which sought to create a more comprehensive approach to educating future teachers.
"Chuck made a commitment that upon retirement he was going to make sure that he still had an impact on the students of Rowan College," remarked Director of Foundation and Alumni Relations, Cody Miller. "We are truly grateful for that dedication and his willingness to give back to our students even after retirement."
The Margaret "Peggy" Harkins Memorial Scholarship fund is the continuation of a temporary scholarship set up by Harkins, along with his two brother-in-laws, in memory of his late wife who passed away in 1988. Peggy taught second grade, served as the President of the Delran Teachers Association and demonstrated a level of dedication to her students and creativity in the classroom that impressed all who knew her. In addition to her work in the education sector, she and Harkins raised two sons, Brett and Patrick. The endowment established in her honor will provide a $500 scholarship annually to a graduating RCGC Elementary Education major planning to transfer to Rowan University to complete their education.
The Chuck and Margie Harkins Teachers 2000 Scholarship fund was created with a twofold purpose – to pay tribute to Harkins' 54-year teaching career, 48 years of which was spent at RCGC, and to recognize the 30 years of encouragement and support of his bride, Margie. In celebration of a rewarding teaching career, this scholarship will provide a $500 award annually to a full-time, second-year student of Harkins' own Teachers 2000 program. Both scholarships are funded in perpetuity by a generous $20,000 donation from Harkins.
"The two women named in these scholarships challenged me to become the best that I could be," explained Harkins. "I wanted to ensure that Peggy's scholarship became an endowment upon my retirement to be sure that someone always goes to Rowan University in her name. At the same time, I wanted to recognize Margie, who picked me up at the lowest time in my life and reminded me that there were still students to teach. Teaching has been my life's purpose, and I wanted to ensure that there would always be support for the students of RCGC."
For more information on this and other scholarships available through RCGC, visit RCGC.edu/Scholarships.
Rowan College at Gloucester County's 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.