Law legacy lives on


The generosity of two brothers has enriched the lives of about 40 students over the last six years.

Judge Sidney Rigelhaupt and attorney Bert Rigelhaupt gave their lives to the law and their legacy to Youngstown State University.

“They were both wed to the law,” said Mahoning County Probate Court Judge Mark Belinky. “Neither had a wife or children, and they lived for the law.”

Belinky, who worked for the Rigelhaupt brothers for 22 years, said their legacy shows their devotion to the legal system and a continued desire to aid young people who choose to follow in their footsteps.

Applications are being accepted for the Judge Sidney Rigelhaupt and Bert Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Scholarship. 

The scholarship is available to Youngstown State University students from Mahoning and Trumbull counties who intend to take undergraduate courses at YSU and go on to attend law school.

Each year, the scholarship grants a full ride for four to seven students in the pre-law program at YSU. 

The scholarship can be used only toward tuition costs.

The Rigelhaupt brothers, both deceased, created a trust exceeding $1 million to provide funding for the scholarship.

“The generosity of the Rigelhaupt brothers has really helped the pre-law program at YSU and will continue to into the future, because we don’t touch the principle given to us by the Rigelhaupt brothers,” said Paul Sracic, chairman of the political science department and pre-law center.

Since the scholarship was initiated in 2005, the money has been invested to continue supporting students in the future. A different amount of money is available each year, depending on how well the investments do.

“We stretch the money as far as we can to help as many students as we can,” Sracic said.

Sracic added that the scholarship has become highly competitive. 

“YSU is truly grateful to the Rigelhaupt brothers, and the scholarship really shows their dedication to the students of the Mahoning Valley,” Sracic said.