History center presents Pioneer Award

YOUNGSTOWN — Girard resident Jeanne Tyler, a major donor of the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center, has been named the 2017 Pioneer Award recipient for her lifetime of public service.

The award was presented to the philanthropist during a program at the William Holmes McGuffey Elementary School, Youngstown.

Richard S. Scarsella, chairman of the history center, said the award is part of the annual McGuffey Founder’s Day in honor of William Holmes McGuffey, the author of the Eclectic Readers. Both the Pioneer Award and the Founder’s Day program are sponsored by the William Holmes McGuffey Historical Society.

Scarsella said Tyler is a longtime supporter of local civic, health care and educational institutions, and donated $700,000 in 2011 as the lead gift of the financial campaign for the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center. The center is located in the former Harry Burt Ice Cream / Ross Radio Building on West Federal Street in Youngstown.

Tyler has contributed to numerous organizations, including Youngstown State University, Fellows Riverside Gardens and Stambaugh Auditorium, including for the auditorium’s Jeanne D. Tyler Grand Ballroom renovation.

She married John Tyler in 1947 and they moved to the Mahoning Valley in 1949. Her husband served as a lawyer, secretary and assistant treasurer for American Welding in Warren.

The Pioneer Award recognizes outstanding leadership, scholarship, community service, philanthropy, contributions to the social, cultural, civic and educational welfare of the valley, historical preservation, and literacy efforts. Previous winners include Harry Meshel, Helen Stambaugh, David Tod Sr., Jerome Corcoran, the Tony Lariccia family, Bruce and Nancy Beeghly, and professors Regina Rees and Al Bright.

Scarsella said the Youngstown McGuffey society chapter is the last in the nation and seeks to keep the McGuffey legacy alive by conducting educational programs open to the public.