Dowdy-Burkett Scholarship

by Rachael Wilbur

The Dowdy-Burkett Scholarship

Bill Burkett, Emory & Henry Class of 1967
Reba Dowdy Burkett, Emory & Henry Class of 1968

Emory & Henry brings together all sorts of unlikely yet meaningful collaborations. One of those successful pairings happened when a young man from Saltville and a young woman from Alexandria went on an arranged date while students at Emory & Henry, and then forged a lifetime together.

Bill Burkett and Reba Dowdy were married in 1968. They were both trained as teachers at Emory & Henry, and started out together teaching in Floyd, Virginia, but soon migrated back to Northern Virginia where Reba had grown up. Bill taught social studies and coached – track and basketball in the early years, but he spent most of his career coaching football. Reba taught Physical Education at both the elementary and high school level, but when their son and daughter came long Reba opted to stay home with the kids.

Never one to be idle, Bill then started a fencing company. Since Reba was at home, she managed the work of organizing the business while Bill did the labor of installing fences. Reba says, “Bill worked long hard hours, but that’s what put our kids through college.”

College education is an important topic in the Burkett home. Neither Bill’s parents nor Reba’s were able to finish high school but they were determined that their children would not only finish high school but also college. Reba was one of six children, Bill was one of eight – and all but one sibling on each side chose to get a college degree. Most every one of them became a teacher, and between the two families – siblings, children and grandchildren – fully 13 from the Dowdy-Burkett clan have attended Emory & Henry.

When Reba and Bill were in a position to pay it forward, they established an endowed scholarship at Emory & Henry to honor the lives of the four people who made college education a family tradition for the Dowdy-Burkett lineage. Horace and Elsie Dowdy and Charlie and Mildred Burkett encouraged their kids to achieve their education goals, and now they are remembered in perpetuity through this named endowment that bears their names.

Mr. and Mrs. Dowdy and Mr. and Mrs. Burkett made it their life’s goal to see that their kids had access to college; and now, all these years later, thanks to the generosity of Bill and Reba and other friends and family who have donated to the fund, they continue to be a positive influence for young people seeking an education.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/878-wells-begins-his-tenure-as-22nd-president"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg" alt="John Wells visiting the library staff with donuts" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2136/6496_JW_First_Day.rev.1561995449.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/878-wells-begins-his-tenure-as-22nd-president">Wells Begins His Tenure as 22nd President</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> John W. Wells began his tenure as E&H’s 22nd President on July 1, 2019. To celebrate his first day, Wells brought every department donuts to thank them for their service to Emory & Henry College. <a href="/live/news/878-wells-begins-his-tenure-as-22nd-president" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2177-anonymous-donor-establishes-scholarship-for"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,227,254/10755_annette.rev.1643320356.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,227,254/10755_annette.rev.1643320356.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,227,254/10755_annette.rev.1643320356.jpg" alt="Annette Welch Webb E&H Class of 1967" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="227" data-max-h="254" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2177-anonymous-donor-establishes-scholarship-for">Anonymous Donor Establishes Scholarship for Annette Welch Webb</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The Annette Welch Webb Memorial Endowed Scholarship <a href="/live/news/2177-anonymous-donor-establishes-scholarship-for" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2113-emory-henrys-giving-tuesday-campaign-is-a"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 3x"/> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 3x"/> <source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png" alt="Emory & Henry fall campus" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1862,1706/10545_Screen_Shot_2021-12-01_at_1.49.00_PM.rev.1638384576.png 3x" data-max-w="1862" data-max-h="1706" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2113-emory-henrys-giving-tuesday-campaign-is-a">Emory & Henry’s Giving Tuesday campaign is a success</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tuesday, November 30 marked Emory & Henry’s ninth annual Giving Tuesday, a one-day</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">annual celebration of generosity event.</span> <a href="/live/news/2113-emory-henrys-giving-tuesday-campaign-is-a" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/176-field-station-granted-national-grant-to-create"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg" alt="Dr. Laura Hainsworth with a group of students at Bartlett-Crowe Field Station." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1198,800/1545_DSC_2416.rev.1512745069.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1198" data-max-h="800" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/176-field-station-granted-national-grant-to-create">Field Station Granted National Grant to Create Strategic Plan</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Emory & Henry College has been awarded a planning grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop an inaugural 5-year strategic plan for the <a title="Take a Virtual Tour of the Bartlett-Crowe Field Station" href="http://youvis.it/ZDz1WW" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Bartlett-Crowe Field Station</a>. <a href="/live/news/176-field-station-granted-national-grant-to-create" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2190-dan-leidigs-lasting-legacy">Dan Leidig’s Lasting Legacy</a></h4></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/178-washington-county-va-rotary-club-makes-gift-to"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.jpg" alt="Washington County (Va.) Rotary Club" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1571_rotary.rev.1512760782.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/178-washington-county-va-rotary-club-makes-gift-to">Washington County (Va.) Rotary Club Makes Gift to Emory & Henry</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The Rotary Club of Washington County, Va. has given Emory & Henry College a gift of $100,000 for an endowed scholarship. <a href="/live/news/178-washington-county-va-rotary-club-makes-gift-to" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/581-new-scholarship-for-bonners-scholars-program"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg" alt="President Jake Schrum signs documents with Paul L. Phillips '64 surrounded by students from the Bonner Scholars Program." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/729,0,2867,2136/5666_Phillips_Endowment-17.rev.1542315513.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2138" data-max-h="2136" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/581-new-scholarship-for-bonners-scholars-program">New Scholarships for Bonner Scholars Program</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Farmer, former teacher and long-time school administrator, Paul L. Phillips ’64, donates $25,000 to support scholarships for E&H Bonner Scholars students. <a href="/live/news/581-new-scholarship-for-bonners-scholars-program" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/181-eamph-voted-affordable-school-for-study-abroad"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.jpg" alt="E&H voted affordable school for students wishing to study abroad." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/90/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/1574_abroad.rev.1512762288.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/181-eamph-voted-affordable-school-for-study-abroad">E&H Voted Affordable School for Study Abroad</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> For the second time in 2017, Emory & Henry College <a href="/international-education/">study abroad</a> has been named one of the top programs in the nation. <a href="/live/news/181-eamph-voted-affordable-school-for-study-abroad" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>