Gene Shore '37
Imagine a 1950s newspaper editor. Sort of like J. Jonah Jameson, Stan Lee's ruthless, Spiderman-exploiting Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Walter Burns of "The Front Page" or Lou Grant might also come to mind. Nonfictional -- but no less eccentric -- was Eugene Shore '37, who sat behind the editor's desk at the Huntingdon Daily News. Unlike Jameson who regularly flaunts a cigar, moustache, and tabloid photos, Gene wore threadbare socks and was encircled by a spray of pencil stubs.
"He used his pencils to the stub," Gene's friend, E. B. "Sonny" Heine, says.
"You'd find them all over the place," current Daily News editor Polly McMullen says.
Gene's pencils ground slowly into stubs as he covered the Huntingdon County Fair and wrote the "Courthouse Roundup" column for over six decades. During the kidnapping of a Shade Gap teenager in 1966, McMullen said, "The national media kept in touch with Gene, instead of him keeping in touch with them."
From the time Gene started at the Daily News as a delivery boy through his part-time contributions during his retirement, Gene was hooked.
"He was a newspaper man through and through. He lived it," Heine points out.
In fact, Gene was so captivated by the Huntingdon community and Juniata College that his dedication seeped into his personal life.
"He could answer questions almost immediately and, if he didn't have an answer, he called you back after locating it somewhere in his collection," McMullen says. When asked just what that compilation held, McMullen said, "His collection included any publications from the area -- anything with a connection to local history."
In addition to news articles and Huntingdon memorabilia, Gene's writings about the community and college he loved have and will survive.
"We still have some of his handwritten notes," Cheryl Kurtz of the Huntingdon County Judge's Office says.
The most valuable piece of paper Gene left behind included a bequest that will be used to endow a scholarship at the College he loved.
"He was proud of Juniata. When I'd go visit him, I had to be ready. I knew he'd ask, 'What did Juniata do lately?'" Heine recalls.
Today, Heine could tell Gene that Juniata has lately been recognizing the former newsman's own life and the donation he made that carries on a commitment to Huntingdon and Juniata.
Picture Gene's early career at the Daily News. He's the young paper delivery boy of the 1930s shouting "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" from the corner of Moore and 17th streets. In truth, the extras that characterized Gene's life were pencil stubs and photo albums.
Though Juniata's students today cling to laptops and iPods, they are twittering and texting their love of Juniata just like Gene Shore.
How Can I Help?
Gene Shore endowed a scholarship to help Juniata students through a bequest. A bequest is only one type of planned giving. What is "planned giving?" The term refers to making charitable contributions that require arrangement in advance, often with financial planners and commonly involving wills, trusts, or annuities. Most people are surprised at what they can do with planned giving. Good plans incorporate retirement income, family inheritance, and charitable interests in a balanced overall financial plan.