Lewis County High School graduates will now have the opportunity to further their education at West Virginia University at an affordable cost thanks to a donation of $541,478 from the estate of Judge William L. Fury.
The Elizabeth Aspinall Fury Scholarship will provide undergraduate or graduate scholarships for West Virginia resident students who are graduates of Lewis County High School or its successor enrolled at WVU. The scholarship was made available through a bequest in Judge Fury’s will and is named in honor of his wife, Elizabeth.
Judge William L. “Les” Fury was born in Weston in 1917 and was the oldest son of the late Grant W. Fury and Opal A. (Gay) Fury. He was elected judge of the 26th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, comprised of Lewis and Upshur Counties, in 1969, after serving the previous 16 years as the Lewis County prosecuting attorney. He married the late Elizabeth Aspinall on November 7, 1942, who was a homebound teacher for over 25 years in the Lewis County school system. Judge Fury and Elizabeth were both devoted WVU sports fans and attended games together throughout their lives.
The Furys did not have children of their own and in many ways they considered the children of Lewis County to be their legacy. Judge Fury was one of the founders and coaches of the Lewis County Little League Baseball program. Elizabeth contributed to the growth of Lewis County’s youth through many civic organizations and through her lifelong dedication to the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Rebecca Fury Chapman, niece of Judge William L. and Elizabeth Fury and daughter of Kathleen Fury, executrix of the estate, hopes the scholarships will have a lasting positive impact on their recipients.
“I think I speak for my mother and I hope I speak for the legacy of my uncle and aunt when I say that our hope is that a bequest of this magnitude will provide the opportunity for any deserving graduate of Lewis County High School to attend WVU to further their education for the benefit of their family and their community for many years to come,” Chapman said. “During their careers my uncle and aunt both saw many examples of how higher education, or the lack thereof, could impact a person’s life. They wanted to give the students of Lewis County an opportunity that economic circumstances might otherwise preclude.”
Lewis County High School graduates Mari Phillips, a freshman journalism student, and Jacqueline Jones, a freshman studying animal and nutritional sciences at WVU, are the first recipients of the Elizabeth Aspinall Fury Scholarship.
“I feel honored to have been awarded this scholarship,” Phillips said. “It’s such a great relief to be able to put all of my effort into working towards my educational goals knowing that I have the means by which to do so. I plan to utilize this scholarship towards bettering my education at WVU. This scholarship will help me stay on my feet between classes, off-campus housing and any other needs that have to be met in order for me to be successful and achieve my goals for the future.”
The scholarship is available to graduates of Lewis County High School who are attending WVU on the basis of financial need, academic achievement and involvement in extra-curricular activities, community service and participation in civic activities. Special consideration will be granted to individuals who have overcome significant obstacles and/or handicaps in order to attend WVU. Scholarship recipients are recommended to WVU by an external selection committee comprised of the Rector of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Weston, the principal of Lewis County High School and the admissions officer at WVU. Students can contact the guidance office at Lewis County High to complete the required application.
The donation was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.
CONTACT: Bill Nevin, WVU Foundation
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