A couple has created a scholarship designed to help students make it through difficult times. The Edward C. White and John D. DeHaan Perseverance Scholarship will give students in West Virginia University’s School of Music the opportunity to complete their degrees.

The scholarship will support a fourth- or fifth-year undergraduate music major studying voice, in good academic standing and with demonstrated collegiality and leadership abilities. The recipient must be active in both opera and choir.

It’s named for musicians and educators who played key roles in the donors’ lives, while demonstrating their own brand of perseverance. Both Edward C. White and John D. DeHaan had extensive careers as opera singers in Germany before circumstances forced them to regroup and adapt. Both men came back to the United States and reinvented themselves as teachers and mentors.

“The knowledge and love of singing these men shared, and continue to share, with us has been at the center of our own singing and teaching,” said one of the donors. “We wanted to take this opportunity to honor them, as well as help WVU’s voice students.”

“The idea came to us because there are a variety of good reasons why students might not be able to complete a degree in four years,” the donor added. “Maybe the student is working to put himself through school, or maybe she spent a semester abroad.”

An extra semester in school changes a student’s eligibility for financial aid, and the Perseverance Scholarship will help create a parachute for those students.

The scholarship was created in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.



CONTACT: David Welsh, WVU College of Creative Arts
304-293-3397; David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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