In 2016, a Philippi, WV, native and his wife established an endowed scholarship supporting education majors at Fairmont State University. The couple has recently arranged a planned gift as part of their estate plan and additional cash funds to further support aspiring teachers through the existing Dr. Bob and Susan Hawkins Endowed Scholarship.
Dr. and Mrs. Hawkins, now living in Virginia Beach, VA, are retired educators who are committed to the education profession and the support of future teachers. They have a strong desire to help students who are devoted to a teaching career but unable to afford a college education.
“College is much more expensive today than when Susan and I were undergraduate students,” said Dr. Hawkins. “I can’t stand the thought of a person who could become such a fine and caring classroom teacher as my wife being unable to get a degree because of finances.”
A planned gift, either through a will, making the foundation a beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement account, ensures that funds will be available even after the donor has died, said Fairmont State Foundation President Julie R. Cryser.
“To give not only additional funding but to ensure that the fund grows after they pass is generous, thoughtful and strategic,” Cryser said.
Dr. Hawkins, a Fairmont State University alumnus, began his career as an educator at Fairmont Senior High School before teaching at Hampton University in Hampton, VA., and as an adjunct professor at Virginia Wesleyan University. During most of his career, he served as an Education Specialist for the Department of Defense, Defense Acquisition University, serving as the Director of Faculty Professional Development designing curricula, conducting educator training, and designing and delivering management and executive level training programs and seminars.
He credits his success to his experience at Fairmont State. In particular, he remembers Dean George Turley, who was an advocate and mentor to Hawkins throughout his undergraduate experience. “I really did not realize what a quality education and preparation for life I received at Fairmont State until much later in my life,” he said.
Mrs. Hawkins’ introduction to Fairmont State came through Dr. Hawkins and especially by attending his annual Theta Xi Fraternity, Kappa Gamma Chapter Alumni Association events. Her college experience took place at larger institutions, including the University of North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, where the couple met when studying in the doctoral program together. She has been fascinated with the small and close-knit community that Fairmont State offers and the resulting connectedness on campus. For this reason, they chose together to support Fairmont State with their initial endowed scholarship in 2016. They consider Fairmont State University to be a place to belong, to be involved, to be connected, and to receive an excellent education.
“The heart of the Falcon Family knows no limits,” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “By including Fairmont State in their estate planning, the Dr. Bob and Susan Hawkins Endowed Scholarship will inspire and support tomorrow’s educators for years and years to come. The Hawkins’ selfless generosity will have an immeasurable impact, as our students entire the education profession and make their own contributions.”
The Dr. Bob and Susan Hawkins Endowed Scholarship is available to Fairmont State University students who are West Virginia residents majoring in education.
This gift was made through the Fairmont State Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the Fairmont State University.