The Whitmore Memorial Scholarship at Bluefield College has been providing vital financial aid to BC students for many years. It will continue do so for many more years to come, thanks to John and Patricia Whitmore, who recently endowed the scholarship with a major gift to the fund to ensure that it will last forever.
Originally established in 2006, the George Michael Whitmore Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by John and Patricia Whitmore to preserve the memory of their son, a former Bluefield College student. Born in Princeton, West Virginia, George Whitmore attended Mercer County Public Schools before the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated from the Horizons School in 1987. He enrolled at Bluefield College in the fall of 1989 before his untimely death in 1992.
“The establishment of this scholarship would have been George’s wishes,” the Whitmores said about the idea behind creating the memorial fund. “He loved Bluefield College and would be pleased that the fund will help students get the college education they desire.”
Since the establishment of the scholarship, the Whitmores have made annual gifts to the fund so that awards could be granted to BC students each year. Their most recent contribution will endow the scholarship so that awards may be presented to students in perpetuity.
“With endowed scholarships, the seed gifts are invested, and earnings from that principal are made available as scholarships,” said BC’s Annette Tabor, associate vice president for advancement. “The original seed or principal amount remains indefinitely, and annual scholarship gifts are given as a tribute to George Whitmore forever.”
While a student at Bluefield, George Whitmore was an avid reader, who demonstrated a significant interest in literature, English and poetry. The Whitmores said they hope that students with similar interests and goals benefit from the scholarship, but that the awards are available to all BC students.
“We just want to give back what’s been given to us,” the Whitmores said, “and this is the best way to do that and a great way keep our son’s memory alive. Now that the scholarship is endowed it will last forever, even after we’re gone.”
John Whitmore, a native of Natural Bridge, Virginia, worked 33 years for Merck Pharmaceuticals, including 28 years while living in Princeton. Patricia Whitmore is a native of Roanoke, Virginia.
“We are extremely grateful for their generosity,” said Tabor. “They have been providing annual scholarships to students of need for many years now, and this endowed scholarship merely reflects their desire to make a lasting difference in the lives of students by assisting them with their college education.”
For more information about the availability of Whitmore Scholarship dollars, how to contribute to the memory of George Whitmore, or how to establish your own scholarship in honor or in memory of someone you know, please call 276-326-4556, or email [email protected]