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Long-time Educator Establishes RichmondCC Scholarship in Memory of His Parents

Aug 31

Bill Cooke and his wife, Jan, recently established a scholarship at Richmond Community College to honor the memory of Bill’s parents, W.J. and Claudia Cooke.

The W.J. and Claudia Cooke Memorial Scholarship will award $1,000 to a RichmondCC student each academic year. Dr. Hal Shuler, far left, and Dr. Dale McInnis, far right, stand with Bill and Jan Cooke after a reception for the new scholarship they established at Richmond Community College in memory of Bill’s parents.

“W.J. and Claudia enjoyed seeing young people further their education, and this scholarship will enable the recipient to reach that goal,” said Dr. Hal Shuler, associate vice president of development for RichmondCC. “We thank Bill and Jan for their generous and giving spirit in establishing this scholarship, which will touch many, many students for years to come. I like to say when you’re making a donation, you’re making a difference, and I hope this scholarship will inspire others to make a difference.”

W.J. was a trainmaster for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, which later became CSX. He and his wife were active members of Fellowship United Methodist Church in Hamlet.

Bill and Jan Cooke are both longtime educators in Richmond and Scotland counties. In his 33-year career in education, Bill also taught at RichmondCC in the 1970s. Jan taught French for many years at L.J. Bell Elementary School in Rockingham.

“I would like to thank you both for becoming a part of our family at Richmond Community College,” said Dr. Dale McInnis, College president, during a reception held for the Cookes. “We look forward to having you come every year to our scholarship banquet and meet the students whose lives you’re touching.”

Bill said his parents came to the area with the railroad in 1942, and they were very involved in the community.

“We were looking for a way to honor their memory, and we thought Richmond Community College was a good way to do that,” Bill said. “The College offers a lot of opportunities for young people in Richmond and Scotland counties, and we’re excited to be a part of that.”

To contribute to this scholarship or to establish a scholarship, call Shuler at (910) 410-1807 or email whshuler@richmondcc.edu.