Bluefield University in the News


by | Feb 8, 2011

Additional financial aid will soon be available to all students at Bluefield College, and the memory of a BC sports legend will live on and the generosity of his widow will be honored, thanks to the establishment of the John, Sr. and Ethel Lamanca Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Originally established in 2003 as the John Lamanca, Sr. Athletic Scholarship to pay tribute to the BC Sports Hall of Famer while supporting Bluefield student-athletes, the Lamanca Scholarship will now also bear the name of his wife, Ethel, as a tribute to her longtime generosity to the school.

“While talking to Mrs. Lamanca you can see the love she has for her husband and how proud she was of his accomplishments, especially his induction into the Bluefield College Sports Hall of Fame,” said BC’s Annette Tabor, associate vice president for advancement. “She has always wanted to honor her husband’s wishes to establish the scholarship, but because she, too, has grown to love Bluefield College and has supported the school, even after his death, it is only fitting that the scholarship bear her name, too.”

In addition, the Lamanca Scholarship will benefit not only athletes, but all students at Bluefield College who demonstrate financial need.

“Mrs. Lamanca wanted to make sure that all students were considered,” said Tabor, “that the scholarship was not limited to just athletes, but available to all students with need.”

John Lamanca, Sr., a native of Bluefield, West Virginia, attended Bluefield College in 1926 and 1927. While a pre-med student at BC, he excelled in three different sports, lettering in varsity football, wrestling and track before moving on to continue his studies at West Virginia University. After WVU, Lamanca began a career as a pharmacist in Roanoke, Virginia, and before his death the sports great was inducted into the Bluefield College Sports Hall of Fame.

Lamanca died in December of 1996 at the age of 91. His wish, according to his wife, was to establish a scholarship fund at Bluefield College to help student-athletes like him.
“Of all the schools he attended, Bluefield College was his favorite,” said Mrs. Lamanca. “Bluefield College held a special place in his heart. He enjoyed athletics at Bluefield, and he enjoyed the atmosphere and the fellowship at the school.”

That’s why Mrs. Lamanca of Roanoke, Virginia, established the original scholarship in 2003 and why at the time of her death a portion of her estate will be endowed at Bluefield College to maintain the scholarship forever.

“Once endowed, the seed gift will be invested, and earnings from that principal made available as scholarship gifts for Bluefield College students,” said Tabor. “The original seed or principal amount will remain indefinitely, and annual scholarship gifts offered as a tribute to the Lamancas to qualifying Bluefield College students in perpetuity.”

For more information about the Lamanca Scholarship or details on how to establish your own endowed scholarship fund at Bluefield College, please call 276-326-4556, email [email protected], or visit the BC web site at

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