West Virginia Wesleyan College has received a $50,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The grant will go to a scholarship fund named for the Rev. Dale E. Turner, a 1940 graduate of Wesleyan who came to the college as a football player. Turner writes a weekly column for the Seattle Times and has been an advocate of numerous social and political issues, said Ryan Morabito, director of communications.
The Dale E. Turner Scholarship was established in 1992. It is awarded annually to students who have a love of athletics and possess characteristics of leadership, integrity and service to others. Candidates for the scholarship must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need.
"Dale Turner represents the high ideals of spiritual and civic leadership and he exemplifies what we hope for in all our graduates," Wesleyan President William R. Hayden said in a prepared statement. "We are thrilled to have received this gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so we can truly acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of such an outstanding individual."
According to the statement, Rev. Turner has a longstanding personal association with the Gates family. During his childhood years, Gates attended church services conducted by Turner.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is based in Seattle and has assets of $21.8 billion. The foundation supports expanding access to vaccines for poor children, as well as development of vaccines for malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The foundation also supports scholarship programs and placing computers with Internet access in U.S. and Canadian libraries.
Staff Writer Shawn Gainer can be reached at 626-1442.