SARASOTA -- A former adjunct professor at the University of South Florida donated more than $1 million in scholarship funds in his will for students at the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Education.
The estate of Francis and Gaile McCracken provided a gift of $1.3 million for student education.
In 2007 after retiring in Manatee County, Francis "Mac" McCracken created the McCracken Educator's Scholarships at USF Sarasota-Manatee. The scholarships are based on financial need and academic eligibility.
McCracken considered it his mission to provide financial support and access to higher education for Manatee County students.
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He taught vocational agriculture in Indiana and agriculture and biology in Michigan. He was also adjunct faculty for USF.
McCracken passed away last August, and he left an endowment in his will for the existing scholarship fund.
McCracken was born in Indiana in 1920 and was certified as a fighter pilot just after World War II ended before pursuing his career in education.
His wife, Gaile McCracken, attended Ball State Teachers College and Syracuse University and taught high school social studies. She and her husband traveled the world before retiring in Manatee County and giving to USF Sarasota-Manatee.