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Danville Resident Endows Scholarship


December 4, 2012



One of the greatest gifts a college or university can receive is support toward student scholarships. Scholarships are important because they allow a student to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and Averett is pleased to announce a new scholarship – the Phifer-Delius Recognition Award, which was endowed by Danville resident Jean Vernon and her sons Melvin Vernon III and R. Hutchings Vernon. The scholarship, which will benefit a music major, was created in memory of Melvin Calvin Vernon Jr., their husband and father.

"Music has always been an important part of my life and I’m delighted we have been able to create a scholarship that will not only honor the memory of my husband, but also recognize two outstanding musicians who made an impact on music in this region and around the world," said Vernon. "It is my hope that this scholarship will make it more possible for someone to pursue a dream."

For more than 20 years, Vernon has been instrumental in organizing the local celebration of the life of Frederick Delius. Delius was recruited to come to Danville as an instructor and artist in residence by Robert S. Phifer, who headed up the school of music at Roanoke Female College (later Averett University). Phifer taught at Roanoke Female College for 17 years, and Delius was an instructor from 1885-86.