A $50,000 scholarship has been established to support graduate students at West Virginia University.
The Benjamin H. and Betty M. Bailey Scholarship Fund was established by Betty M. Bailey to support students enrolled in graduate programs at WVU.
“This was a scholarship we had discussed before his passing,” said Betty of her late husband, Benjamin. “Benjamin was a retired professor in the College of Human Resources and Education, and worked in the college for 34 years.
"He was a wonderful person who knew a little about a lot of subjects, and someone who—along with myself—placed an emphasis on receiving an education. We wanted to provide support to an institution that provided us with so much.”
Betty, who grew up on a dairy farm in Adena, Ohio, received her registered nurse certificate from Ruth Brant School of Nursing, which no is longer in existence. With a strong desire to help others, she worked for 11 years at Martins Ferry Hospital in Martins Ferry, Ohio, and then moved on to attend then-West Liberty State College for four years while working as a registered nurse at Ohio Valley General Hospital in Wheeling, W.Va.
She also holds two other degrees—a bachelor of arts degree in biology and masters in health education, which is the degree that made her an alumna of WVU. Betty’s experience also includes having taught an associate degree nursing program at then-West Liberty State College, and she is a retired registered nurse from Mon Health Medical Center, known previously as Mon General Hospital.
Benjamin was raised in Minnora, W.Va., a small community located in Calhoun County. Hard work and dedication were instilled in Benjamin early on as he was diagnosed with a congenital eye condition, with worsening vision imposing challenges regarding learning.
As his vision very fortunately improved through minor surgery, Benjamin was able to not only graduate from high school, but received a bachelor’s degree in education from Glenville State College. As Benjamin gave back to the West Virginia community through teaching in Wyoming County, he also served in the Korean Conflict for two years, and remained in the U.S. Army Reserves for 31 years.
Following his return from Korea and his deepened desire to continue his service, he attended the University of Florida at Gainesville. While working toward his master’s degree as well as doctorate degree, Benjamin worked to educate others and taught in the public school system.
After receiving his doctorate degree in educational psychology, Benjamin was hired by WVU, where he continued to provide students with not only an education, but endless opportunities for success as a Human Resources and Education professor.
It was through dedication, financial support and a commitment to excellence that both Betty and Benjamin were able to receive an education that allowed them to commit themselves to others.
“We genuinely just wanted to help students receive an education,” mentioned Betty. “My hope is that the establishment of this scholarship will not only honor Benjamin, but emphasize the great importance of service, education and the immense opportunities that can arise from dedicating yourself to both of those things.”
Recipients will be determined by the WVU Office of Financial Aid based on financial need. First preference will be given to students who received their undergraduate degree(s) from Glenville State College located in Glenville, W.Va. If no student meets the designated criteria, money will be awarded to a student who graduated from an accredited college or university in West Virginia.
Betty currently resides in Morganton and describes it as a place that “has so much to offer” and greatly enjoys all aspects of the area.
The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.