Hugh Thurnauer, a 7-time traveler from Mason, OH, had donated a total of $50,500 to Grand Circle Foundation by the time of his death at age 97, to support students in Tanzania.

Hugh’s generosity will help educate children in East Africa for years to come: in his will, he left $20,000 to Grand Circle Foundation. We are humbled by the opportunity to continue Hugh’s legacy in Tanzania and Kenya, which began in 2002 as a way to honor the memory of his late wife, Alina.

Over the years, just as Hugh kept in touch with the Foundation, so have the students whose lives have been changed by his scholarships. In fact, just after we learned of Hugh’s passing, we received a letter from a student named Baba, who had recently graduated secondary school and about to take Tanzania’s national exam to enter advanced level studies.

“The aim of writing this letter to you is to say thanks to you for helping me in different ways, because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been in Secondary School and I am sure that this good opportunity will make me a savior of my family…. I have never been chased from class for not paying the school fees. Our Mama Sandra [Grand Circle Foundation Project Manager] pays it on time. I have got nothing to pay you, but I pray to God to keep you alive and always make you successful in life and making me do excellently in my studies. I would like to let you know that this is my last year being in ordinary level, and I look forward to joining advanced level after passing National Examination.”

And now some of these students are attending university, including Koromo, who hopes to receive an education to help his community.