The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties announced last week a newly gifted scholarship fund that’s already helping a local student pursue a college degree.
Henry C. Stowers’s estate created the Loudoun County High School Scholarship Fund with a $665,000 endowment and will make an annual award of about $20,000 per year to four students. The award will be renewable for four years. With each successive year, the scholarship fund will add one additional Loudoun County High School recipient until four students are benefitting from his philanthropy at any given time.
The first scholarship was awarded to Danning Bisaga, a 2018 graduate of LCHS who plans to attend the University of Virginia this fall and pursue her interest in studying psychiatry or psychology. “This is a wonderful opportunity. Thank you,” Bisaga stated.
Stowers was a lifelong farmer and an avid photographer. He served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors from 1972 to 1979 and on the Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District from 1980 to 1986. He also held leadership positions in many Loudoun and regional organizations, including service on the boards of the Loudoun County Farm Bureau, the Southern States Cooperative, the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Committee, and the Planters’ Club. He also was a longtime supporter of the Loudoun County 4-H, served on the board of directors of the Northern Virginia 4-H Center, and was a strong supporter of the 4-H Fair, which was dedicated to him in 1991. At the state level, he was appointed by Gov. George Allen to the Governor’s Small Grains Board and was reappointed to the board by Gov. James S. Gilmore III.
After he was killed in a car crash in 2001, Stowers was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly as being “well-known and highly respected for his agricultural expertise, generosity, integrity, and leadership… a man of exceptional integrity and dedication to Loudoun County, and… a fine Virginian.”
According to his sister, Mary Hope Worley, Stowers mentored many young people and this scholarship fund is a reflection of his desire to create a legacy by supporting hard-working students.
“My brother was an amazing man of many interests and talents and had a heart for service. He was a great neighbor, ready to help when there was a need,” Worley said in presenting the scholarship at the LCHS commencement ceremony in June. “He could fix any kind of farm machinery and could design or adapt any piece of equipment to meet a need, whether it was for use on our farm, the need of neighbor, or the church.”
Amy Owen, president of the Community Foundation, called the fund a substantial gift to Loudoun County. “We are honored to have been chosen to steward its growth to ensure hundreds of graduates of Loudoun County High School benefit from this incredibly generous gift. By all accounts, Henry was a very kind soul who was a ‘giver, not a taker.’ This scholarship fund is an example of his spirit of giving.”