30 Years of Coach Shirley
Celebrate Coach Tom Shirley on his 30th season as Head Coach Women’s Basketball with a gift to the Kathleen and Thomas R. Shirley, Sr. Scholarship Fund. Established in honor of Coach Shirley’s dad, this need-based scholarship supports students from Roxborough, Manayunk or East Falls.
The endowed fund currently stands at $250,000 and Coach would love to see the fund reach $300,000 in celebration of his 30th season!
ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP
Growing up in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia, as did his father, Coach Shirley understands well the sense of duty and love of family and community that sustained his dad, Tom Shirley Sr., for the 80 years of his life. “Dad may have moved us out to the ‘suburbs’ when we were growing up, but he never left his roots,” says Shirley. Thomas Shirley Sr. passed away in 2004, leaving his children, Tom Jr., Gary, Scott and Kathleen; his wife of 55 years, Kitty, and 10 grandchildren to reflect upon his life.
Shirley Sr.’s story is one of remarkable achievement and spirit. Leaving school when he was a junior at Roxborough High School, he answered his country’s call at the outbreak of World War II. Joining the Navy, he was anxious to play his part as a member of the armed forces.
The idea of establishing the scholarship began as a tribute to Coach Shirley’s years of service to the University. “But I knew in my heart it should be about my dad; to honor him, a man who never finished high school yet worked every day of his life to make a better life for his children,” Shirley offers.
“I had a very strong relationship with my dad and the scholarship is a legacy for him and our family,” notes Shirley. “It is gratifying to think a student will benefit from a scholarship bearing his name.”