Dean Ranson Scholarship awarded

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Dean Ranson Scholarship awarded

December 12, 2012

 Sarah Melton
Northwestern Oklahoma State University student Sarah Melton is the 2012-2013 recipient of the Dean Ranson Scholarship.

Northwestern Foundation Release

This fall, Sarah Melton was awarded the Dean Ranson Scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

The Dean Ranson Scholarship was established at Northwestern in 2003 in honor of Ranson, of Fairview, by his daughters and their families, Rita and Jeral Cain, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Janis and Robert Johnson, of Montclair, Va. The scholarship provides financial assistance to full-time continuing Northwestern students with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average. First preference is given to applicants from Major County.

Melton, who will be a junior next semester, plans to major in social work and help children. She has called a number of places home, including Switzerland, Fairview and Mooreland, where she graduated from high school.

Feeling at home was one reason she chose Northwestern, she said.

“It has a really family-oriented feel,” said Melton, who attends classes at the Woodward campus. “It was close to home, and the price was great.”

In combination with her Pell Grant, the generous Ranson Scholarship covered a whole year’s worth of classes with enough left over to help pay for her textbooks.

“I really appreciate it,” a thankful Melton said. “It has been a big help. Without scholarships, I would be in debt.”

Ranson grew up on a family farm southwest of Fairview and graduated from Longdale High School in 1938. On Dec. 23, 1942, he married Ethel Martin, who preceded him in death in July 1989. He graduated from Northwestern State College in 1943 with a degree in physics and mathematics, and, following graduation, he served 34 months with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II. After receiving his military discharge, he taught high school for one year at Zenda, Kan.

In 1947, he moved back to Fairview to begin his 55-year career with the Farmers and Merchants National Bank. Ranson served the bank in various positions before being elected president in 1972. In 1985, he was elected chairman of the board and in 1988 became CEO.

During his banking career, he provided leadership to many civic and community organizations. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. In 1990, he married Mary Teske. In 2002, Ranson received the Fairview Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award, and he retired from Farmers and Merchants National Bank that same year. He passed away in 2007.

For more information about investing in students at Northwestern, contact Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at or 580-327-8599.