The Robert F. and Mary Jane Galer Scholarship was established by members of the Galer family in 2023 to honor the lives and legacies of Mary Jane and Bob Galer.

Mary Jane Galer was a wife, mother, and grandmother who became an historian, educator, librarian, author, and public servant. Robert “Bob” F. Galer was known for his passion, intelligence, and kindness; he spent his entire life dedicated to his country, his family, and advocating for the underprivileged.

Mary Jane graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1945 with a B.A. in Education and began her professional career as a teacher and librarian. This led her to earn a master’s degree in library science from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1947.

She yearned to travel but also to serve others. She found she could do both when becoming an Army Special Services Librarian, setting up libraries for soldiers at bases around the world. It was on one of these assignments in 1951 that she met and married her husband of 66 years, US Army LTC (ret) Robert Fulton Galer. Mary Jane, Bob and their three children moved to Columbus in 1960 when LTC Galer became Fort Benning’s Inspector General and Mary Jane acquired a position as post librarian. In 1967, Mary Jane joined the Columbus State University staff as librarian and became an Associate Professor. In 1976, she won her election as a Georgia State Representative. Much of Mary Jane’s work as a legislator centered around the rights and well-being of women and children. Her accomplishments included improving child support enforcement law and championing the Equal Rights Amendment. Her dedication to the rights of women and the State of Georgia remained until the day she died. Her many awards include the Certificate for Outstanding Achievement in Public Service, Soroptimist Award, and the Maxine Shapiro Goldenstein Freedom Award.

Bob was raised in Montana and attended the University of Washington, was a ROTC graduate and later obtained a masters at Florida State. He entered active duty in 1940 and served in World War II and Korea, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Bob served as Inspector General at Fort Benning before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1966, Bob was appointed to establish the first Equal Opportunity Employment Office at Ft. Benning, which he headed until his retirement in 1988. They both shared an interest in genealogy and historical preservation. These passions led Bob to the Sons of the American Revolution, where he served as Georgia State President in 1994, then served on Executive Committees at the national level and as Vice President General of the South Atlantic District. At SAR, he was honored with many awards, including the Minuteman Award, its highest honor.

In the 1990s, you could find Bob poring through local town hall records and trudging through fields as he led the effort to identify and mark graves of Revolutionary War soldiers, 17 in Georgia alone, and preserve historic battle sites. His final project was spearheading and designing the Revolutionary War Infantryman Monument that now sits at the head of the Avenue of Honor at the National Infantry Museum.

The hallmark of their marriage was their belief in each other’s abilities. It was the driving force behind their success, both individually and as a couple.


The Robert F. and Mary Jane Galer Scholarship:

Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible for the Galer Scholarship, an applicant must:


The committee will consider applicants who demonstrate:


*NOTE: CFCV is aware of delays associated with the revised FAFSA form and as such, reserves the right to adjust the timeline below. Application deadlines will be updated on the scholarship application portal (link below).