Yancey scholarship to help Pine Grove graduates

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

RIPLEY – William Edward “W.E.” Yancey’s final wishes were fulfilled Thursday when family members presented a $110,000 check to Northeast Mississippi Community College to endow a scholarship in his name.
Yancey, who died last year, was never able to attend college himself, but he wanted to make that opportunity possible for others, said his nephew, David Yancey.
“My uncle was a well-respected, upright, honest and caring man in the Pine Grove community,” David Yancey said. “He worked hard throughout his life and continued to be a great role model for myself and many others.”
On hand for the presentation were W.E. Yancey’s sisters, Doris Yancey Jumper and Dorothy Yancey Wildmon, and other family members – David Yancey, Karen Yancey, Kathy Balof, Logan Yancey, Emily Balof and Evan Yancey.
W.E. Yancey, who lived in Ripley, died in September 2008 at age 82. He never married and had no children. Two things he once said he wished he had done differently, said niece Karen Yancey, were attending college and getting married.
W.E. Yancey was a farmer and also was a retired factory worker with Genesco Corp., but it wasn’t lack of ability that prevented him from attending college. In fact, he was valedictorian of his 1945 graduating class, David Yancey said.
“It is amazing that he donated this money to Northeast and never even walked through the doors,” said Patrick Eaton, executive director of the NEMCC Development Foundation, which will administer the scholarship.
The first scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2010, with Pine Grove High School student applications receiving first priority.
Principal Tony Elliott will receive scholarship applications specific to the W.E. Yancey Scholarship to distribute to 2009-2010 seniors.
“He said he never really had the opportunity to go to college,” Karen Yancey said, “but he hoped by leaving this scholarship fund money behind that someone would now have that opportunity he never got.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.