The legacy of George Shaber as a man of service, not only as a United States Marine, but also as a professor, historian, cycling enthusiast, and family man, will forever be recognized through his planned gift and the establishment of the George Shaber Veterans Scholarship. Growing up in Nyssa, Idaho during the Dust Bowl, George went straight into the military upon graduation. After returning from his service during World War II, George was able to use the GI Bill to attend post- secondary education and received an associate’s degree in arts & sciences in 1947 from Boise Junior College, along with a bachelor’s from Colorado College, a master’s from University of California, Berkeley and began working on his doctorate. In his professional career, George was an educator, a “professor of the people” who believed in getting to know students through their own worldviews.
Kendal Shaber, George’s daughter, said, “his time at Boise Junior College was one of the most influential and important periods of his life.” Because of his service, George was afforded financial opportunity to attend college. “Access to the GI Bill changed the direction of America and my dad likened his experience, after coming to Boise Junior College from the war, to that of a butterfly. The social aspect of the university changed his life and shaped the way he would teach in the future.”
While attending Boise Junior College, George served as the co-editor of the yearbook, Les Bois and editor of The Roundup, the student newspaper. George also watched the university enrollment rapidly expand with the introduction of the GI Bill, as more and more veterans returned from wartime service. Kendal added that during college her father said, “a lot of the students at the time were veterans and we were pretty skeptical of what professors had to say, they hadn’t shared our life experiences, and we were an older crowd.”
Hearing impairment from his service in the Marine Corps resulted in an early retirement from teaching sociology at Lewis & Clark Community College and George never let that injury define him. Instead, he advocated for veterans of all generations and recognized how debilitating hearing impairment could be to some.
Through a charitable gift annuity, George established the George Shaber Veterans Scholarship. The endowment will provide scholarships for veterans with hearing impairment who are attending Boise State University. Kendal says it is the family’s hope that this scholarship will enhance educational and social growth opportunities for future student veterans at Boise State, provide a lasting legacy for her father in the local community, and bring increased awareness to the struggles veterans face with hearing impairment.