ELKINS - A Davis & Elkins College senior set to graduate this month has expressed his gratitude to an Elkins bank for its four-year support through the Highlands Scholarship program.
Davis Trust Company has provided a gift of $48,000 - four consecutive years of $12,000 donations - towards D.J. Crawford's education through the program.
"Davis Trust Company's financial support of my Highlands Scholarship has made my education possible," Crawford, who has a double major in management and marketing, said. "And it showed me that there are people and businesses in today's world who want to see young adults succeed and prosper into the future."
Davis Trust Company President and Chief Executive Officer Michael R. Price, left, presents a Highlands Scholarship gift to Davis & Elkins College senior D.J. Crawford, center, while D&E President Dr. Michael P. Mihalyo looks on.
Michael R. Price, Davis Trust's president and chief executive officer, said the bank and its Board of Directors are proud to support an outstanding local student like Crawford, who is a graduate of Elkins High School.
"D.J. Crawford is due to graduate with a business degree this spring," Price said. "We've seen him all the way through. In a small community like this, it's great to help a student out.
"I think it gives us a good focal point," Price said. "When you can, in a way, adopt a student in their first year, as a freshman, then you can follow them all the way through. From our perspective, it was helping one Randolph County student go to a private college who might not be able to afford it otherwise."
In 2009, D&E introduced the Highlands Scholars program, which offers an annual $14,000 scholarship to students living on campus and $11,000 each year to commuter students. All graduating seniors in Barbour, Randolph, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Tucker, Upshur and Webster counties who achieve a GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible to receive the scholarship.
"I am very grateful to be the recipient of their gracious award for the past four years," Crawford said. "Their faithful giving back to help students in our community is a great thing to see. It's had a very positive impact on me and will allow me to contribute to the community as well."
D&E President Michael Mihalyo said the support of local businesses like Davis Trust Company is vital to the college.
"We are so grateful for the kind and consistent support of our Highlands Scholars program by Davis Trust Company," Mihalyo said. "Their generosity as well as that of many others makes it possible for students within our region to experience Davis & Elkins College. It is through partnerships such as these that we are able to enhance not just individuals but also our community."
Price said he hopes more businesses help support D&E and local students through the Highland Scholarship program.
"D&E has such a connection with the community, especially Davis Trust," Price said. "Our bank was founded by Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen B. Elkins, who also founded Davis & Elkins College. The links go back well over 100 years.
"Elkins and Randolph County is aware of the value of Davis & Elkins College, and I know a lot of companies have already made contributions, but it never hurts to keep the fire stoked," Price said. "In times when money is tight, it's easy to put your money to other things if you're not reminded. It's good to keep in the forefront how important it is to keep the contributions coming."
Davis Trust Company was organized in November 1899 under the leadership of Sen. Henry Gassaway Davis and Sen. Stephen B. Elkins. Originally known as the Trust Company of West Virginia, the name of the institution was changed to Davis Trust Company in November 1906.