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Donation Allows Creation of Vera King Russell Memorial Scholarship


The King Family make a $250,000 donation to University of the Cumberlands President Jim Taylor to begin the Vera King Russell Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Williamsburg, Ky. – University of the Cumberlands (UC) received a $250,000 donation from Mr. Joseph Craig King and the entire King family in honor of Mr. King’s sister, Vera King Russell. The donation is being used to set up the Vera King Russell Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The King family, originally from Williamsburg, KY, have always had a special love for the university. “UC is a unique and a special college,” said Mr. King.

UC and the King family will always be connected as the Cumberland Inn Museum proudly displays one of the King’s family heir looms. Many years ago the family decided to permanently donate a quilt, called Kentucky Twinkling Star that was made by Mr. King’s great, great aunt, Eliza Berry. The quilt was made in 1835 and had been within the family ever since then until it came to UC. The quilt was first passed on to the Mr. King’s aunt, Juliet Hoffman, before being passed to his sister Vera King Russell who later gave it to him.

Mr. King had the option of giving the quilt to the State Museum in Frankfort or the Speed Museum in Louisville. However, as he says, “Not enough Kentuckians would see it, especially those from the Whitley County area where the quilt was crafted and that’s why it belongs at UC.”

The love that this family has for UC and this quilt was shown when Vera re-created an exact replica of the quilt in 1976. For her accomplishment, Vera won the Southeastern Quilt Competition; as well as was awarded a silver medal and a set of American Revolution Patriot Plates as the state winner from Mississippi in the Great Quilts of America Contest. The quilt was also taken on a nationwide tour for one year at the request of the Smithsonian.

The fund that has been created through Vera King Russell Endowment Scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students that are attending UC. The scholarships will be awarded to students that are in need of help and are academically well-prepared for college. Students that are wishing to apply for the scholarship can do so through the Financial Aid Office at UC.

Anyone wishing to make donations to the fund may do so at any time by contacting the President’s Office at 606-539-4201.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.