Chester county students will have the opportunity for higher education thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor. An anonymous donor’s recent gift of $100,000 brings the total fund of the Lucia Beason Bell Endowed Scholarship at Winthrop University to $500,000, making it one of the largest endowed funds available at the university, according to Winthrop’s website. First preference for the scholarship is given to students from Chester County, second to students from Fairfield County and third to students from Camden, Lugoff and Elgin, according to the University’s website.
The scholarship is available to students from these counties who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and is open to incoming freshmen as well as current Winthrop students of any major.
The scholarship, established by the anonymous donor in 2011, is in memory of Chester resident Lucia Beason Bell, who moved to Chester from Woodruff to pursue a teaching career, according to Winthrop’s website. Bell was also involved with the Chester County Historical Society, Chester County Library Board, Chester County Geological Society and the Chester Associate Reformed (ARP) Church.
Bell and her husband, S. Lewis Bell, both worked for the Chester Telephone Company, which is known today as TruVista Communications. The donor’s gift highlights Bell’s value of education, said Amanda Stewart, director of program administration at Winthrop. “(Bell) was active in the Chester community and very supportive of education,” Stewart said.
Since the Bell scholarship is an endowed gift, the fund earns interest, which is used to provide students with scholarships, Stewart said. At this level, the Bell fund is intended to provide students with full tuition coverage.
The donor wanted the gift’s focus to be on Bell’s legacy and on access to education, Stewart said. “It’s very selfless,” she said. “It’s always fresh and exciting to have people see the value in what’s happening at Winthrop and support our students.”
To apply for the scholarship, students should contact Winthrop’s financial aid office at 803-323-2189.