Eugene J Mays was born and raised in Fairmount West Virginia. He began his career as a coal miner and helped to organize his co-workers into the United Mine Workers Union under John l. Lewis.
After Gene's discharge from the Army in 1947, he moved to Buffalo where he was employed at the Western Electric Company. There he became a member of the Communications Workers of America and rose to the office of President CWA Local 1162, representing the Western Electric employees.
In 1951, Mr. Mays was appointed to serve the National Union as a Staff Representative for CWA. In 1963, Gene was elected to the office of CWA Upstate NY Director. Six (6) years later he was promoted to Assistant Vice President of CWA District 1 and moved to District Headquarters in New York City.
While in Buffalo, Gene was an activist in the Black community and prominent in organizations for improved racial relations.
He served the Buffalo CLC as a Board Member, was the Director of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of WNY, Community Action Organization of Buffalo and the Black Business Development Corp. He also was a member of the Mayor's Council on youth Opportunity and the Board of Managers, Michigan Ave. Branch YMCA.
His untimely death left the working class with one less effective leader and the Communications Workers of America a void that has been difficult to fill. We remember Gene for what he left behind. His genuine interaction taught all of us the real meaning of compassion, dedication, devotion, equality, love, and understanding.
Eugene Mays has helped all of us. For this and the aforementioned we feel it is most appropriate to establish a scholarship fund in his name, and in his honor.
WNY Council of the CWA - Eugene Mays Scholarship Application 2017
The WNY Council of the CWA Eugene Mays Scholarship fund has been contributing to the education of CWA members and their families for decades. The Council is made up of ten (10) CWA Locals and the Retirees Chapter across our eight (8) Western New York Counties. The Mays foundation is funded by the Eugene Mays annual golf tournament and the Eugene Mays annual award dinner. Since this scholarship fund was established the Council has increased both the number and the amount of scholarships awarded annually. This coming year the Council will again award eight (8) scholarships of $1500 each, through random draw, to a CWA member, child, grandchild, or spouse from a participating Local within the WNYCWA Council.
CWA members of Locals participating in the WNY Council of the CWA, their children, grandchildren, and spouse (including dependents of retired or deceased CWA members) may apply. The applicant must be a FULL TIME student of an accredited two (2) or four (4) year college for the fall 2017 semester. Verification of enrollment is required by no later than Friday, June 23, 2017 or the scholarship will be forfeited and an alternate selected.
No specific area of study is required. The deadline to submit application is Friday, November 11, 2016. The eight (8) $1500 scholarships will be determined by random draw held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Winners will be notified via US Mail.
The eight $1500 Scholarships will be presented to the scholarship award winners at our 43rd Annual Eugene Mays Memorial Awards Dinner on Friday, January 20th, 2017 and/or after the award winner submits verification of enrollment thereafter, until the stated deadline of Friday, June 23, 2017.
Scholarship award winners will be invited to say a few words on "What it means to be part of a UNION family" at the awards dinner on Friday, January 20, 2017.
Download Eugene Mays 2017 Scholarship APPLICATION