West Virginia Wesleyan College has received a gift of $130,000 from the Daywood Foundation to support scholarships and the endowment match for the $10 million Title III grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education approved under the department’s Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) in September.
The gift of $100,000 will help the College reach a $400,000 per year matching grant which is part of the larger $10 million Title III grant. This matching fund will establish an endowment to support ongoing efforts of the College to help current and future low-income and first-generation college students persist to graduation. In addition, the Foundation committed to continuing an annual gift in the amount of $30,000 that will help provide scholarship monies for West Virginia residents attending Wesleyan.
“We are extremely appreciative to the Daywood Foundation for their continued and generous support of West Virginia Wesleyan College,” said West Virginia Wesleyan President Dr. Pamela Balch ‘71. “Their ongoing scholarship contributions have helped many students gain access to a Wesleyan education. Their most recent gift to the Title III Endowment Match is a step closer in fulfilling our $400,000 per year challenge to improve strategies for student engagement and success.”
The Daywood Foundation has been a generous supporter of Wesleyan for over 20 years. In 2010, the Daywood Foundation awarded the college $100,000 to help complete the David E. Reemsnyder Research Center which supports Wesleyan’s commitment to science, technology, and mathematics education.
With strong roots in the state of West Virginia and tracing their histories back before the Civil War, Ruth Woods, the wife of Arthur Dayton, established the Daywood Foundation, Inc. following Arthur’s death in 1958. Mr. Dayton had been a prominent lawyer in Charleston at the time of his death, and the family had no children or close family.
Headquartered in Charleston, the Daywood Foundation supports local organizations. The Foundation has a long history of providing scholarship monies and assisting with capital campaigns for private colleges, as well as funding health and social welfare projects that provide direct aid to disadvantaged groups in Barbour, Greenbrier, and Kanawha Counties.
The Title III SIP program helps eligible institutions of higher education to become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.
The grant, which will be distributed over five years, is the largest grant of its type ever awarded to a college or university, and the largest award Wesleyan has ever received in its 124-year history.
Over half of Wesleyan’s 1,520 students are from West Virginia. Wesleyan also has more West Virginia PROMISE Scholars than any private college in the state. The United Methodist-related school, located in Buckhannon, offers 47 undergraduate majors along with graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, education, English creative writing, and nursing. During the past eight years, thirteen Wesleyan students have been named Fulbright Scholars, while four others have won international scholarships through the U.S. Department of State.