Joseph E. and Bertha White Harry ScholarshipDecember 16, 2019
Raven Bland never met Joseph and Bertha Harry, but this Old Dominion University senior appreciates how this generous couple from her Norfolk neighborhood helps her pay for college.
Raven Bland never met Joseph and Bertha Harry, but this Old Dominion University senior appreciates how this generous couple from her Norfolk neighborhood helps her pay for college. Raven, a history major, won a Joseph E. and Bertha White Harry Scholarship in 2013 when she started at ODU. Four years later Raven, who was Hampton Roads' first Youth Poet Laureate, is among nearly 40 students each year who are Harry Scholars. She is planning a career in government and already looking forward to the day when she can start her own scholarship fund to help other students.
Joseph Harry was a grocery buyer who lived modestly in Norfolk's Norview neighborhood with his wife Bertha, who died in 1985. Neither graduated from college. Both were active in our community -- Joseph as a Mason and Bertha with the American Red Cross and a garden club. The couple had no children of their own, but through Joseph's estate plans they have dozens of scholarship "family" like Raven. After Joseph passed away in 1991 his estate left a generous gift to the community foundation to start an endowed scholarship fund. He specified that it be for Hampton Roads students attending either ODU or Virginia Wesleyan College. The perpetual Harry Fund will forever be helping college students prepare for the future.