Philip Glenn Martin’s commitment to our community was evident during his lifetime. Now, more than 14 years after his death, his contributions continue to make their mark through a fund established at the Scott County Community Foundation.
Phil received his Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1942 and his MBA in 1947 from Indiana University. He served three years during World War II in the U.S. Navy as a boat officer during the famous assault on the beaches of Iwo Jima in the South Pacific , and was discharged in 1945 as full lieutenant.
After retiring from a Chicago-area business in 1991, the Martins returned to Finley Township. He first joined the local Chamber of Commerce in 1992 as a businessman. He had helped his wife, Vernal, establish an antique business in Finley Township, but Phil’s natural inclination to get involved led to his being elected as board president of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce the next year. From there, he was selected to serve as the Chamber’s first part-time director and then its first executive director in 1994.
He built a rapport with small business owners and attracted several new industries to the area. Under his guidance, membership in the Chamber grew and programs such as the Scott County Leadership Program, which trained future leaders, the Third House Legislative Program and the Manufacturers’ Forum were created.
He was also involved in other community efforts, including serving as co-chair and organizing the committee responsible for the Scott County Comprehensive Educational Feasibility Study, participated in the Scott County Total Quality of Life Initiative, organized and chaired the committee to publish the Scott County Pictorial History Book, and much more. For these efforts, he was a nominee for the Scottsburg Mayor’s Good Neighbor Award, and had also received a key to the City of Scottsburg.
He retired in 1996, but remained active in both the Chamber, and the newly-created Scott County Community Foundation, of which he helped lead the efforts to establish in Scott County. He served on the Community Foundation’s board of directors and assisted with publicity. He realized early on that a community foundation could raise money and attract grants that would continue much of the good work already begun by local leaders in the field of social needs.
Upon Phil’s death in 1998, his wife and daughter, Heidi, established a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation. Students who graduated from Scottsburg High School and had resided in Finley Township were eligible for educational assistance. Since establishment of the Philip Glenn Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, eight students have received financial assistance in their pursuit of higher education.
Friends from the Chamber gave the following memorial to Phil. “Phil was a shining example to our community of a heart in the right place. His commitment to people far outweighed his commitment to any project. He saw the success of a community not only in dollars and cents, but also in relationships and friendships. For these reasons his absence will be felt by everyone. May we look to his life and find encouragement and motivation in our individual efforts. How thankful we should feel to have known a man such as Phil and be able to draw from his spirit. His legacy goes far beyond the list of his accomplishments, but are made important because of his unselfish and humble attitude.
The purpose of the Philip Glenn Martin fund was recently changed to provide scholarships to students to attend the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce’s BizCamp program, where students ages 9 to 11 learn the basic concepts of business and economics and how education is relevant to the workplace at a one-week summer camp at the Junior Achievement Center in Louisville. This program is available to students at no charge. The Chamber hosts an annual fundraiser, Chamber Challenge for Education, to support the program, and also relies on donations from individuals and businesses in the community. Now, with the Philip Glenn Martin Memorial Fund providing support to the program each year, that could allow more students to benefit from the program.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Greater Scott County Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to know that the family has decided to direct these funds to support our students going to Junior Achievement Biz Camp,” said Chamber Executive Director Keith Colbert. “I know this is representative of Phil’s ongoing commitment to this community. Although I never had the opportunity to meet Phil personally, I have been honored to follow in his footsteps as director of the Chamber of Commerce.”