Scholarship fund drive at halfway markPosted August 23, 2013
The largest-ever fundraising drive for student scholarships at Abilene Christian University has crossed the halfway mark, raising more than $25 million thanks to the generosity of a woman who never set foot on campus.
Virginia Heacock, a Houston resident who worked at ExxonMobil for decades, began giving to ACU at the advice of some friends who served on the university’s Board of Trustees.
She established the Virginia Heacock Scholarship Foundation in 1995 with the sole purpose of funding an endowed scholarship for ACU students, and upon her death in May, the assets of her estate – nearly $4.5 million – transferred to that scholarship fund.
“She knew she needed to do something with her money,” said Dan Garrett, ACU vice chancellor and president of The ACU Foundation. “The thing I think sealed the deal were the beautiful letters she received from students thanking her for their scholarships."
Her endowment has awarded more than 220 scholarships to more than 165 students, with many more to come, thanks to her incredible generosity.
In an endowment fund, a portion of the earned interest is awarded while the rest helps keep the fund growing in perpetuity, providing a stable financial base for the university and ensuring an indefinite stream of support for students.
With more than $25 million raised in the $50 million Partnering in the Journey Campaign, students will receive an additional $1 million in scholarships annually.
“ACU is incredibly blessed by the generosity of great men and women like Virginia Heacock,” said Dr. Phil Schubert, university president. “Virginia always regretted that she couldn’t go to college, so she dedicated her life to helping ACU students fulfill their dreams of a college education. She partnered in the journeys of hundreds of students while she was alive, and her legacy will be a part of the journeys of thousands more students for decades to come.”