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Anonymous donor honors 1963 bombing victims

Sep. 12, 2013 @ 11:05 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Four Marshall University students became the first recipients of a scholarship that was established by an anonymous donor during a ceremony Thursday evening on campus.

Each student received a $500 scholarship, which will be provided to four students annually in memory of four young girls who were killed in a racially-motivated church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963.

Students Raquel Whitmore, Donavia Beltran and Jasmine Felder were awarded a total of $2,000 in scholarships during the ceremony in the Drinko Library Atrium. Rebecca Britton also received a scholarship but was unable to attend the ceremony.

Maurece Cooley, director of Marshall's Center for African American Students, said the donor recently read the Carolyn Maull McKinstry book, "While the World Watched," which focuses on the events at the African American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which was nearly destroyed by a bomb on Sept. 15, 1963.

The blast killed four girls between 11 and 14 years old.

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