Alumna Establishes New Scholarship to Honor Grandmothers

June 26, 2017

Quick Facts

bullet point The Legacy of Empowerment Scholarship will provide financial assistance to a student who demonstrates financial need, with first preference given to female students who are minorities.
bullet point DeWalt earned B.S. and M.Ed. degrees at Winthrop.

/uploadedImages/news/Articles/KVD.jpgKay Vanderhorst DeWalt '99, '01/uploadedImages/news/Articles/JV.jpgJuanita Vanderhorst/uploadedImages/news/Articles/BF.jpgBeatrice Funnye
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — As a child, Kay Vanderhorst DeWalt '99, '01 looked to her grandmothers, Beatrice Funnye and the late Juanita Vanderhorst, for guidance and inspiration. To share their legacy of empowerment with Winthrop students, DeWalt has established a new scholarship.

The Legacy of Empowerment Scholarship, an annual fund, will provide financial assistance for a student who demonstrates financial need, with first preference given to female students who are minorities.

For DeWalt, the scholarship represents "an important way to honor my grandmothers and afford other young women the opportunity to be empowered through education." She added that Funnye and Vanderhorst encouraged their children and grandchildren as well as community members to empower themselves through education. DeWalt went on to earn B.S. and M.Ed. degrees at Winthrop, and she works as a Title I facilitator and instructional coach with the Fort Mill School District.

The Georgetown, South Carolina, native hosted an empowerment luncheon on June 10 to celebrate her 40th birthday and share her vision with more than 40 inspiring women-including family, friends and fellow Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., sisters-who have influenced her life. In the spirit of the luncheon, many attendees made gifts to the Legacy of Empowerment Scholarship.

DeWalt said that she plans to make the Legacy of Empowerment luncheon an annual event, and, over time, perhaps build the scholarship to the $25,000 endowment level as a way to "pay forward" the invaluable lessons her grandmothers taught her.

The Legacy of Endowment Scholarship illustrates the university's increased emphasis on creating a flourishing culture of philanthropy, with fundraising defined as an essential priority in the Winthrop Plan, the university's strategic plan through 2025.
DeWalt and her husband, Eric '00, reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their three children.

Make an online gift to the Legacy of Empowerment Scholarship, or send checks made payable to "Winthrop University Foundation" to:

Winthrop University Foundation
302 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733

For more information, contact Meredith Carter, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or

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