The William Byrd High School Class of 1962-63 had over $2,000 left in the treasury after holding its 55-year class reunion.
Planning no more reunions, the reunion committee, chaired by Sherry and Jim Hearn, voted to give the remaining funds to the Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation to start a “seed fund” for a scholarship designated for future WBHS graduates.
The Hearns have mailed out about 250 letters to classmates detailing the committee plans. Their goal is to raise over $10,000, including the initial $2,000 in “seed money.” Once they reach that goal, the scholarship will become perpetual at $500 per year.
The scholarship will only be awarded to WBHS seniors and will be managed by the Guidance Department at WBHS and the Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation.
“They were very appreciative of our desire to establish such a fund,” said Hearn in her letter to alumni.
The foundation suggested that the scholarship be based on need and awarded to students who are academic achievers, and who demonstrate good attitudes, community service, and exemplary character.
Scholarships are to be granted by application, with the recommendation and approval of the WBHS Guidance Department.
Alumni can donate to the fund at any time. Once the $10,000 goal is reached, the scholarship becomes perpetual, funding a scholarship of $500 or more each year, forever. Donations are tax deductible.
Roanoke County will collect the donations and deposit them into the account set up. The Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation will manage the funds, to be called “The William Byrd Alumni Scholarship Fund.” This fund will incorporate all classes of William Byrd High School classes— past, present, and future.
“That means memorials or donations can be made by anyone who designates the funds for this scholarship, regardless of their graduating class,” said Hearn.
The “seed fund” of over $2,000 will remain in the account for as long as necessary before granting any scholarships. If the $10,000 goal is not reached, scholarships for lesser amounts can be awarded beginning at any time, but the aim is to reach that goal amount in order to make the scholarship perpetual.
The Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation has been awarding scholarships to all county high schools for many years. It holds a ceremony annually in the spring to announce the scholarship winners.
The WBHS Class of 1962-63 is seeking support in funding this endeavor. Donations may be sent to the Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation Inc., 5937 Cove Road, Roanoke, 24019. Jean Wynn is the foundation contact person. Designate the funds for the “WBHS Alumni Scholarship.”
“Thank you for considering a donation to this cause,” said Hearn. “It will make a WBHS student very honored and grateful.”