Helping students for nearly 50 years: The Burroughs Scholarship

burroughsCharles F. Burroughs, Sr., never attended college, but he’s managed to send 188 students to Hampden-Sydney College through the scholarship he started at the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in 1960.

Burroughs had one special tie to Hampden-Sydney: a company vice president who graduated from the College in 1957. Burroughs headed the Royster Fertilizer Company in Norfolk, and valued his vice president.

Before his death in 1960, Burroughs arranged for his estate to donate a Virginia Beach farm to be sold and create the Charles F. and Mabel C. Burroughs Memorial Scholarship Fund. Among the schools Burroughs named for scholarships was Hampden-Sydney College. By 1963 the first Burroughs Scholars were enrolled in college.

Among the beneficiaries of Burroughs’ generosity are three graduates of Norfolk’s Maury High School: Shep Miller ’79 (above center), Craig Reilly ’97 (above left), and Billy Ekofo ’04 (above right). After graduation, all returned to Hampton Roads to live and work.

The Burroughs scholarship was a huge help to Miller, a 1979 Hampden-Sydney graduate who worried about paying for college. “My dad lost his lumber business in Hurricane Camille and died while I was in college,” Miller says. The scholarship made it possible for him to attend the College. Today he chairs KITCO Fiber Optics and is a member of the Hampden-Sydney Board of Trustees.

Craig Reilly recalls that “as soon as I entered the gates of Hampden-Sydney College, I immediately fell in love with its beauty and prestige, and I knew this was the college I wanted to attend.”

The cost was daunting and “would have placed a financial burden on my family.” Reilly says, “Luckily, with the help of the Foundation we were able to bridge the gap and my parents were able to send me to my dream school.” Reilly had both the Burroughs scholarship and the Joseph A. Leafe Scholarship administered by the Foundation for Hampden-Sydney students.

Today Reilly is Monarch Bank’s Virginia Beach president and is president of The Maury Foundation board. He is involved in other community organizations and has been honored as a “Top 40 Under 40” business leader.

Ekofo fled war-ravaged Congo at age 17 with little more than his passport, three changes of clothes, and some family photos. He lived with a Norfolk minister’s family while attending Maury High. The Burroughs scholarship let him study at Hampden-Sydney. Today Ekofo is director of business development at Re:Act Media, a Norfolk firm specializing in multi-media projects for nonprofit organizations. This fall he will enroll at the College of William & Mary to earn a master’s in business administration degree.
Burroughs’ generosity continues today at Hampden-Sydney with 11 Hampton Roads students on scholarship.