George and Andonetta Girio Family Scholarship Established

Published 02.09.2001


The family of the late George and Andonetta Girio has established an endowed scholarship to benefit students enrolled in Landscape/Nursery Technology programs or any major in the School of Hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The George and Andonetta Girio Family Scholarship fund, which is to be awarded each fall and spring, replaces an existing scholarship established after George and Andonetta Girio's deaths in 1987. The initial scholarship honored George Girio's love of roses and his devotion to education, as well as the memory of his wife. The new scholarship extends the Girio family's commitment to helping students at Penn College.

"Our community is very fortunate to have a facility such as Penn College," their son Art Girio said after a recent campus tour. "It is impressive to see the cooperation among students (from different majors)." He added the family is proud to be associated with Penn College.

Born in Ortona, Italy, in 1897, George Girio served as an assistant to a colonel in the Italian Army in World War I before immigrating to the United States. Initially settling in Seneca Falls, N.Y., he moved to Williamsport to find work. He attended night school to learn English and to study for citizenship.

Born in Francavilla, Italy − a few miles from Ortona − in 1906, the former Andonetta Scoppa settled in Williamsport when her family moved here in 1914.

George Girio worked at Sweet Steel before starting a 42 1/2-year career with the Pennsylvania Railroad, first as a track laborer and later as a track foreman. Andonetta worked for U.S. Rubber before her marriage to George, after which she became a homemaker. The couple raised five sons and a daughter.

Upon retirement, George Girio pursued his passion for propagating and caring for roses. His reputation led to his being asked to work part-time at the Williamsport Rose Garden, where he cared for more than 4,000 rose bushes.

The Girio family has been a mainstay in the local real estate and insurance business and most recently has expanded to include mortgage and other financial services. Art Girio started the business in 1957.

To receive a George and Andonetta Girio Family Scholarship award, students must demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to students who are enrolled in either the School of Hospitality or the Landscape/Nursery Technology programs at Penn College.

Preference also will be given to students attending high school in Lycoming County.

Continuing students will be given preference in subsequent years.

The scholarship may be used to defray the costs of tuition, fees, books and required supplies. The amount of the awards and the number of recipients will be determined on an annual basis.