Former Athens Resident Contributes to Scholarships and Campus

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 21 2002

Former Athens Resident Contributes to Scholarships and Campus

Athens, W.Va. - Local citizens Bill and Ann Wells presented a scholarship and a $5,000 landscaping grant to Concord College from the estate of Grace Gumm.

Bill Wells, professor emeritus of travel industry management at Concord College, and his wife, Ann, a Concord alumnae, were caregivers to Grace Gumm, a former teacher in Mercer County and Athens resident. Gumm passed away on July 26, 2002.

Those who remembered Gumm said she was inherently honest, and she adored her friends, family and career. Gumm loved teaching and taught in Preston County for 11 years and Mercer County for 27 years. Her main subjects were music and English. Gumm stated in an interview before her death that, “Education is the key to success."

A unique aspect of Gumm’s teaching career was that she taught music at Autherdale, one of the first experimental communities of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” She appeared on the front of Life magazine with Eleanor Roosevelt when reporters covered the "New Deal" community.

At 97, Grace was proud that she was a part of history. It was her wish that others remember her through the beauty of the seasonal flowers and landscapes that her grant will go toward. The Wells' said, "We celebrate Grace's life as she so abundantly lived it—the joy she experienced and shared with each of us and the memory of her as a dear friend."

“The Gumm scholarship program has produced scholarships for deserving freshmen since 1989, and this latest contribution to the fund will enhance its ability to benefit more students,” stated Concord President Jerry Beasley. “The entire Concord community is thankful to Grace Gumm for her thoughtful gift of a landscape grant. The Campus Beautiful will benefit from a truly special lady.”


Photo: Jerry Beasley, Ann Wells, Bill Wells

Concord College Notes: Jessica Taylor, a student in Concord College’s English Department wrote this press release. Her hometown is Beckley, W.Va. She is majoring in English/writing with a minor in journalism. Her anticipated graduation date is May 2004.