Local News

Shelbyville senior awarded inaugural Gary Oldham Jr. Scholarship

Gary Oldham Sr. was driving to Shelbyville High School Friday afternoon when he saw a young man with an eerie resemblance to his son walking away from the school.

Gary Oldham Jr. died in an automobile accident on Jan. 5, 2022, but that did not stop his father from noticing the resemblance.

“He was walking down here with dirty, sandy blonde hair like (Gary’s) and about his length in high school with a white sweatshirt on and black sweatpants and a backpack walking down McKay,” explained Oldham Sr. “He walked just like junior. My wife goes if he had his hood up it would be. I said sometimes he left it down so his hair wouldn’t get messed up.”

Oldham Jr. is gone – he is not forgotten. And his father is working diligently with friends and family to make sure the former Golden Bear helps many more student-athletes.

On Friday in the Golden Bear Room at SHS, Oldham Sr. presented the first Gary Oldham Jr. Scholarship to Shelbyville senior Christian Haas (main photo).

“I am the first but it’s the first of a start that later down the road can help other students and show other athletes if you are doing good in the community and doing good in school it will pay off, just not in all the ways you are expecting,” said Haas, who had no idea he was arriving at the school to get a scholarship check.

Haas knew Oldham Jr., a 2011 SHS graduate.

“I played softball with him,” said Haas. “He was the one that would always pump you up.”



Haas recently committed to playing soccer in the fall at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. On Friday, he believed he was coming to school for some sort of presentation about Oldham Jr.

“I figured I would go help out and see what it is all about,” he said. “My jaw just dropped to the floor. I am honestly shocked.”

The $2,500 scholarship check will go straight to Haas’ education.

Oldham Sr. pulled the oversized check out from behind the Golden Bear background in the Golden Bear Room but struggled to get the words out what the scholarship program means and how proud he is of the first recipient.

“It always does (get to me),” said Oldham Sr.

There will be a second scholarship presentation in June, according to Oldham Sr. The goal is to eventually raise $25,000 to get the scholarship endowed at the Blue River Community Foundation.

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