Meissner Family Renewable Scholarship Fund
The Meissner Family Scholarship was established in 1985 by Philip Meissner to honor the educational contributions of his grandfather, George Meissner; his parents, Henry and Charlotte Meissner; and his aunt, Wilhelmine E. Meissner. Together they contributed 120 years to education. It is awarded to a deserving high school senior pursuing a career in education. Since 2000, the Meissner scholarship has been a renewable award for up to four years of college education.
George Meissner came to the United States from Germany, where he earned a Ph.D. in philology from the University of Munich. He taught Latin at the Horace Mann School in New York City for five years and then became the librarian for Jacob Astor. He also organized and catalogued the library of Andrew Carnegie. He was the chief cataloguer of the New York Public Library from its inception until his death in 1906.
Two of his children, Henry and Wilhelmine, each served 39 years in the public secondary schools of New York City. Henry taught industrial arts in Brooklyn, and Wilhelmine taught physical education, was an assistant principal, and was the acting director of guidance for the borough of Queens.
Henry's two sons, Henry and Philip, taught a total of 37 years—eight in community college and 29 in the Long Island public schools. Henry was a member of Phi Delta Kappa for 42 years and served several terms as coordinator for the New York area and one term as District VI Representative. He also was a charter member of The Long Island New York chapter and served as membership chair and chapter delegate.
Philip Meissner became a member of The Long Island New York chapter in 1968 and held several chapter offices. In 1971 he was appointed area coordinator and served five years. In 1975 he was elected District VI Representative and served two terms. In 1979 he was elected PDK International Vice President, a position he held for four years. Philip also was a charter member of two PDK chapters, Suffolk County New York and Charlotte County Florida. He established the Meissner Family Scholarship Fund in 1988, the first endowed scholarship of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. In recognition of his service to PDK and contributions to the Educational Foundation, Philip Meissner was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the PDK Educational Foundation in 1999.
The tradition of teaching and educational pursuits has been a legacy of the Meissner family. This scholarship was established to help deserving young people embark on a challenging and rewarding career in education.