The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University has received a gift from Joseph R. Biafora and his daughter, Diana Biafora Sparagna, to establish an endowed fund named for his wife and her motherthe Stefi Poluck Biafora Scholarship.
The endowment, which is administered by the WVU Foundation, Inc., will support at least one scholarship each year for a rising junior or senior who is majoring in an arts and sciences program. If awarded to a junior, the scholarship may be continued for the senior year.
Scholarships will be awarded in the name of Stefi Poluck Biafora, a native of Marion County, a coal miner’s daughter now living in southern California.
Mrs. Biafora’s parents emigrated to the United States from Poland at the turn of the 20th century. She met her husband, Joseph Biaforaa 1942 political science graduate of WVU at a USO event in 1939 and corresponded with him while he served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
At the war’s conclusion, the couple married and relocated to southern California, where they raised six children. Two of their nine grandchildren, Francis Sparagna and Daniel Sparagna, the sons of Diana Biafora Sparagna, are currently undergraduate students at WVU .
“Stefi Biafora exemplifies the dedication to life-long learning that the Eberly College instills in its students and friends,”said Dr. Rudolph P. Almasy, interim dean.”Beginning with her graduation from Monongah High School and studies at Fairmont State College, continuing with her graduation from Pierce College and work at the University of Southern California, and then her unceasing encouragement and support of her children and grandchildren’s pursuit of higher education, Mrs. Biafora has always recognized the value of education.”
In addition to raising her family, Mrs. Biafora has also been active in local politics in Southern California. She excelled at campaign strategy and fund-raising for candidates whom she believed could make a positive difference in the community. Her hobbies include golf and following WVU sports teams.
This is not the first gift from the Biafora family in support of WVU students. Joseph and Stefi Biafora created an endowment with the WVU Foundation in 2003 in memory of Mr. Biafora’s parents. The Frank and Bernardina Biafora Scholarship supports at least one Dean’s Leadership Scholarship each year, granted to a rising freshman or sophomore enrolled in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, with preference for political science majors.
The WVU Foundation, Inc., is a private, non-profit organization which develops, receives and administers private gifts from individuals and organizations for the benefit of West Virginia University.