A Grateful Teacher Pays It Forward

Allan Starkey

Allan Starkey ’64

From an early age Allan Starkey '64 wanted to be a teacher. Growing up in a single-parent household, however, he knew that paying for college would pose a challenge. Fortunately, like thousands of other students who preceded and followed him, he attended Towson State College virtually cost free, receiving tuition in exchange for a promise to teach for at least two years in a Maryland public school.

"The pledge" was discontinued by the state in 1972, but Starkey hopes to keep its spirit alive for future teachers. Earlier this year he took advantage of the charitable IRA rollover (reauthorized by Congress for 2013) and directed funds to the Towson University Foundation to establish the Allan Starkey Endowed Scholarship in Secondary Education. Additional gifts will be added through his estate, ultimately creating a fund that will annually provide full tuition and fees for at least one in-state student who commits to teach in a Maryland public secondary school.

After graduating from Towson, Starkey taught English in three different Baltimore County high schools and also served as a specialist in the county's Office of English Language Arts before moving to the Anne Arundel County Schools as K-12 coordinator of language arts, a position he subsequently held in Howard County.

During those years he earned master's degrees from Morgan State University and The Johns Hopkins University. He also taught part time for eight years in the M.A.T. program at Hopkins. Towson's College of Education faculty selected him as the first recipient of the Dean's Recognition Award for an outstanding career in teaching and supervision. In 2000 he retired from public education and returned to Towson's campus as a lecturer in the Department of Secondary Education. In that role he contributes to the development of new courses, especially those incorporating technology into the classroom. He has also chaired the College of Education's scholarship committee.

"I've had all of my needs and most of my wants in life met," he reflects. "For this I credit Towson and the opportunities it made possible."