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Paying It Forward

May 7, 2013

From Apple Blossom Princess to meeting her future husband, Averett has played a huge role in the life of Lucille Digges '55. That's why she felt strongly that she needed to give back and endow a scholarship for a student with a love of music to honor her family.

Lucille came to Averett from New York State, sight unseen, on the Averett College Car — the train had a designated rail car that picked up students from New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. before finally stopping in Danville. A minister's daughter whose family couldn't afford a four-year college education without financial assistance, she loved her time here.

At the University's recent Honors and Scholars Banquet, Lucille had the opportunity to meet her 2012 scholarship recipient.

"You just don't know how much it means to people," said Lucille of the impact her scholarship had for her student. "Her dad was disabled, and she wasn't going to have enough to finish her last year of school."

Now, Lucille's scholarship recipient is a recent graduate, having received her bachelor's degree on April 27. She will be beginning her new life with a wedding and a career as a teacher — all made possible thanks to the generosity of someone who is paying it forward from their time at Averett.

Indeed, Lucille was so moved by meeting her recipient she made an additional gift of $5,000 to the scholarship.

"If a little bit means so much, then a little bit more is even better," Lucille said. "You just have to give back. I hope it will inspire somebody else to give back too."