Linda Biafora and Diana Biafora-Sparagna recently made a $25,000 gift to the West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, endowing a scholarship in memory of their late sister Brenda Biafora of Benicia, Calif.

This gift establishes the Linda Biafora for Brenda Biafora Scholarship, an endowed fund that will provide scholarships for students in the Eberly College with mental/behavioral health issues. The endowment will provide support for students faced with these challenges to aid them in completing their degree.

“We hope it will help give troubled students a second chance,” Sparagna said. “Brenda found healing for her own life by helping others. Her greatest passion was bringing people together for a common good.”

Prior to her passing last March, Brenda Biafora was a major supporter of causes related to mental health and mental health awareness in her community. Her passion for helping individuals struggling with mental illness led her to found the Napa Chapter of the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance and the Family Friends Group, two support groups for individuals and loved ones dealing with the effects of depression and bipolar disorder.

Her work was instrumental in increasing mental health awareness throughout Solano and Napa counties. She was a member of the Napa Board of Health and the Napa Valley Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies.

The sisters decided to honor Biafora’s memory by making a gift that will continue to provide opportunities for students struggling with mental illness for many years to come. Their father, Joe R. Biafora Sr., is an alumnus of the political science department at WVU.

Two of Brenda Biafora’s nephews are also WVU Mountaineers. Francis A. Sparagna III, is a graduate of the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program and Daniel Sparagna is a senior who plans to graduate in May 2014.

This contribution was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign, which is being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University, runs through December 2015.

For further information on the comprehensive campaign, please visit or
For more information, contact Amanda Dymacek, associate director of development, at (304) 293-9251 or



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Interim Director of Communication and Marketing

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.