Having received its largest cash gift ever from a single donor, the Parkland College Foundation recently awarded 12 new spring 2021 scholarships to Ford County residents.
The generous $1.5 million gift, from the estate of C. Paul and Marjorie Davis of Gibson City, came as a surprise in early December to the Foundation, which had no prior connection with the Davises except a passion for education.
C. Paul Davis was a WWII veteran and UIUC graduate who settled in Gibson City to farm, where he married Marjorie. Marjorie Davis was a teacher with a lifelong dedication to the profession. Her accomplishments in the career include teaching English for 24 years, primarily at Stephen Decatur High School and Champaign Central High School; serving as co-teacher leader for high school summer abroad programs; serving as state secretary of the National Council of Teachers; and having a professional membership in Delta Kappa Gamma professional honor society for women educators.
Their gift will continue their legacy by providing scholarships to students from Ford County. Executive Director of the Parkland College Foundation, Tracy Wahlfeldt, expressed her gratitude toward the late couple:
"We are so appreciative of this amazing gift!" Wahlfeldt said. "Mr. and Mrs. Davis' memory will live on through the students whose lives and educational journey are impacted by their scholarship. I wish I had the opportunity to thank them in person."
The first recipients of the Cecil Paul and Marjorie Wilson Davis Scholarship are Katie Johnson, Gowyn Kelly, Allison Heavilin, Ashlyn McPherson, Jadrien Miles, Melissa Walker Salyards, Hannah Hein, Jordan Frederick, Paige Shelton, Lani Crim, Gracie Conover, and Breanna Brokate. The $2,000 awards for the spring 2021 semester will be used for tuition, fees, and/or books.
Please visit parkland.edu/foundation for more information about the Parkland College Foundation. Mr. Paul Davis and Mrs. Marjorie Davis' obituaries can be found at the News-Gazette.com.