Lynchburg College in Virginia has announced a $5 million bequest from alumnus Walter W. Ridgway Jr. ('48), the largest gift in the school's 111-year history.
Half of the income from the Walter W. and Josephine Sheffield Ridgway Memorial Fund will be used to provide scholarships to students from Virginia Baptist Children's Home, Glade Spring Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church in Roanoke. The other half will help support the construction and/or maintenance of new and existing buildings on campus. The college will apply the capital portion of the bequest to the Drysdale Student Center, which is scheduled to open this fall.
Ridgway also left endowment gifts to the three institutions Lynchburg will work with to provide scholarships — $1 million to Virginia Baptist Children's Home and Family Services, $500,000 to Roanoke's First Baptist Church, and $400,000 to Glade Spring Baptist Church.
Ridgway, who died in February 2013 at the age of 91, served in a U.S. Army 1st General Hospital during World War II, and later transferred to Lynchburg from Roanoke College as a senior on the GI Bill, graduating with a B.S. degree in biology at the age of 26.
"It is tremendous that an alumnus of the college believed so strongly in LC that he wanted to see our college prosper and grow for years to come," said Lynchburg president Kenneth Garren. "We are so pleased that Mr. Ridgway clearly had a great experience at Lynchburg College, and we are very honored to receive this magnificent bequest."