Thursday, February 01, 2007
Spelman scholarship to honor Coretta Scott King
When Bernice King graduated from Spelman College in 1985, she vowed to establish a scholarship at her alma mater one day.
She kept her promise by announcing the Be A King scholarship honoring her late mother, Coretta Scott King.
Her mother died a year ago today of cancer and a heart attack, she said.
"I never imagined it would happen when my mother was not here," said King, the youngest child of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr. "But God has a mysterious way of moving."
The endowed scholarship honors her mother's contributions to humanity, human rights and non-violent social change, she said.
The endowment now totals $189,000, with gifts of $100,000 from Bernice King's personal funds, $75,000 from Home Depot and $14,000 from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where she is an elder. King said she hopes to help the endowment grow to $5 million.
The scholarship targets rising seniors and freshmen majoring in areas that interested Coretta Scott King and will be phased in over the next few years.
The first year, two rising seniors will get partial scholarships of $7,500 each for 2007-2008. The next year, scholarships, renewable annually, will go to two freshmen and partial ones to two seniors.
"I want them to have the freedom I had to study, focus and develop the great heritage that is inside them," said King, who will help select recipients.
President Beverly Daniel Tatum said Bernice King's generosity continues the legacy of Spelman women promoting positive change in the world.
And the college, Tatum said, couldn't be more grateful. Most of Spelman's more than 2,100 students receive financial aid to attend the private historically black institution founded in 1881.
"We appreciate her willingness to step forward to support the financial needs of her Spelman sisters," Tatum said. "It's an example that we hope other Spelman women will follow. I'm sure Mrs. Coretta Scott King is very proud of her daughter's commitment."
Posted by da rattler at 12:30 AM