Pay it Forward

$2.68 Million Alumna Bequest Creates Scholarship Fund

Mary Virginia Whiteside '44

Mary Virginia Whiteside '44

In December, Randolph College announced a major gift that will create a scholarship fund named for Mary Virginia Whiteside ’44.

Whiteside, who passed away in 2007 at age 84, worked with the College shortly before her death to create a bequest that would make a difference to students who might not be able to afford college. The gift was worth $2.68 million. The scholarship fund will give preference to deserving women based on their academic record, personal qualities, and financial need. Whiteside, a resident of Redlands, California, graduated from the College, then named Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, as a Latin major. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and went on to teach Latin to high school and college students at All Saints Episcopal College in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

“This is an extremely generous gift at a crucial time,” said John E. Klein, president of the College. “Gifts like these are always valued, but especially so in a time of an uncertain economy. This gift will allow Randolph College to continue to help students and families afford a quality education. Through careful planning, Ms. Whiteside was able to create a legacy here that will have an impact on students far into the future, and we are very grateful to her.”

Whiteside was initially hesitant about the College’s shift to coeducation but, after much thought and consideration during her estate planning process, decided to leave the bulk of her estate to her alma mater.

“Ms. Whiteside told her attorney that her college was still the most important thing to her,” said Jan Meriwether, vice president of institutional advancement. “Through her generosity, we will be able to offer more opportunities to future students.”