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04/04/2016

Winthrop Alumna Establishes Scholarship to Honor Family Member

Quick Facts

 The Virginia Curley Scholarship will support students with financial need.
 Behr earned her B.S. in business administration and her M.B.A. at Winthrop.

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Niki Behr
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Virgina Curley
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Niki Behr ’94, ’99, payroll manager at Winthrop, remembers well the struggle of working nearly full time to finance her university education. Through a new scholarship, Behr will provide aid for Winthrop students with financial need in a way that honors her late grandmother-in-law, Virginia Curley, and her steadfast commitment to education.

The Virginia Curley Scholarship, which awards in fall 2016, will provide an annual scholarship to a Winthrop student. Behr explained that she wanted to help alleviate the burden for students with financial need.

“I don’t want other students – who have proven themselves academically and who want to be here – to go through the financial difficulties I experienced,” said Behr. She added that she encourages Winthrop faculty and staff to consider giving to the university for one reason: helping students fulfill their goal of a Winthrop education.

“We all ended up at Winthrop for different reasons, but we all have the same commitment, and that’s a commitment to our students,” said Behr, emphasizing that “every gift helps.” She said that she established the scholarship to be “open to anyone with financial need” because she knows it takes time for students to determine their interests and plot their career paths.

The Virginia Curley Scholarship also honors Curley’s focus on the importance of higher education. The Union City, New Jersey, native moved to Rock Hill to be closer to her family. A retired office manager for a record company, Curley – known to friends and family as “Ma” – regretted her decision not to attend college and made sure that her children and grandchildren knew the importance of education.

“Education was very important to her. The scholarship is a great way to remember her and honor her sincerity in wanting everyone to gain an education,” said Behr, who earned her B.S. in business administration and her M.B.A. at Winthrop.

For more information, contact Meredith Carter, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or carterm@winthrop.edu.

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