Bluefield University in the News


by | Nov 5, 2010

Bluefield College students will soon have access to even more financial aid, but equally important is the fact that the legacies of two local community servants will be preserved through the creation of the Dennis and Louise Thomas Leary Endowed Scholarship for BC students.

Established through the generosity of an anonymous Bluefield College donor, the Leary Scholarship is designed to support BC students pursuing degrees in Christian studies or teacher education. As the donor wished, the scholarship will also pay tribute to two individuals who dedicated their lives to the Christian ministry and education.

“Dennis and Louise Leary had no formal connection to Bluefield College during their lifetimes, but they were passionately committed to their faith and to education,” said BC’s Annette Tabor, associate vice president for advancement. “Both were concerned for the education and prosperity of southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia, and this scholarship will encourage continued prosperity and growth in the region.”

Dennis Leary lived most of his life in southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. A veteran of World War II and a civil engineer, he spent the majority of his career working for the City of Beckley, West Virginia.

Responding to a need for clean water service for residents outside of the city limits of Beckley, Dennis created the Stoco Water and Development Company, which laid some of the first flexible water pipe in the United States and brought clean drinking water to Raleigh County citizens who had little to no access to it before.

“Dennis was a faithful servant to God, his country, and his community throughout his lifetime,” said Tabor. “He always had the best interest of his fellow community members in mind.”

A native of Halifax County, Virginia, Louise Thomas Leary was a longtime beloved schoolteacher in Richlands, Virginia. After her husband’s death in 1970, some 20 years after he founded his water utility service, she set aside her passion for teaching and her dedication to educating the children of southwest Virginia to become president of Stoco Water. She continued to manage her husband’s company and fulfill its mission until she sold the business decades later.

The Leary legacy of service to southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia will continue, thanks to the Leary Scholarship Fund and the students who receive the awards. Recipients of the scholarship are to be full-time Bluefield College students from Halifax, Campbell, Tazewell, or Allegheny counties in Virginia or Raleigh County in West Virginia.

Award winners must also demonstrate financial need and be majoring in teacher education or Christian studies. Recipients are eligible to receive the Leary Scholarship during all of their years of study at Bluefield College, provided they maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average.

For more information about applying for Leary Scholarship Awards or for details about how to give to the Leary Fund or create your own scholarship in honor or memory of someone, contact the Bluefield College Advancement Office by phone at 276-326-4211.

Bluefield University

[email protected]276.326.4212

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


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