Support the Dr. Ediger Scholarship

ediger portrait shot

Honoring Dr. Thomas Ediger

Recently a group of alumni have come together to find a way to permanently memorialize Dr. Ediger on Peru State’s campus – whether it’s a sculpture, painting or plaque – it would honor his impact on the hundreds of students he taught over his 35 years at Peru State College.

After continued conversations with Peru State Foundation staff and fellow alumni, Oltman and the Foundation are pleased to announce a scholarship initiative. The goal of the initiative is to create an endowed scholarship fund in Dr. Ediger’s name.  The scholarship will be awarded to students involved in choral activities at Peru State and will be open to music majors and non-majors.

Below are some words from James “Odie” Oltman (’02) who is leading this effort:

Dear Peru State College Alumni,

While over the last few years Peru State College has transformed in ways many never imagined, two and half years ago our school changed forever.  In August of 2014 the Peru State College family encountered a void that will be difficult to fill when Dr. Thomas Ediger passed away unexpectedly.

I know that while many of you who are reading this can recall some direct connection to Dr. Ediger, there are many more of you who may not.  But, what I want to impart to you is that your life was positively impacted because of him, whether you were involved in music or not.

Dr. Ediger made everyone around him better, made everyone around him care a little bit more and made everyone have a little bit more passion in their day to day lives.  Whether it was his students, his colleagues, area community members or Peru State staff, one way or another he had an affect on you. He brought passion, creativity, motivation, kindness and empathy with him every single day and that permeated through the entire campus.

Just like you cannot tell the story of Peru State College without mentioning T.J. Majors, W.N. Delzell or V.H. Jindra, you cannot tell the story of Peru State College without including several chapters about Dr. Ediger.  And that is why I am writing to you today. The Peru State College Foundation has been working with me and other alumni, on a memorial campaign to honor the legacy of Dr. Thomas Ediger on campus.

I encourage each and every one of you to consider making an investment not only for the memorial, but also for the story it will tell.  The world is a better place because of Dr. Thomas Ediger and his gift of music, and we are all better for having the privilege to cross his path.

- James “Odie” Oltman

Endowed scholarships must reach a minimum balance of $10,000 before being awarded.  For those interested in learning more or participating in this memorial scholarship:


Donate online! Click here to access the online giving form.  Select other under Designation and type Ediger.


You can also set up monthly giving through the online form.  It's as easy as a Netflix payment and can make a big difference!


Contact the Peru State College Foundation at 402-872-2304 or email the Foundation at


Ediger at piano with Dr. Edris on trumpet Ediger playing piano