..to award a yearly donation to a student attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, the Alma Mater of several of [Leona Duffy’s] children.
The Duffy Scholarship is a dream come true for the late Leona Stith Duffy. The scholarship fund got its start from a story, “An American Family,” printed in the Reader’s Digest in the July 1977 issue by a reporter named Joseph A. Blank. After the story ran, the Duffy family received many letters and contributions from friends who came to know us through the article, and who wanted to help us in this endeavor.
The largest contribution came from an elderly lady, Mrs. Wilba D. Marley of Florida. When she read the story about the Duffy family in the Reader’s Digest, she was so touched by it; she wanted to make a contribution. In September of 1978 we received a letter from her lawyer stating that Mrs. Marley had passed away, but left fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to the Duffy Scholarship Fund. These funds were immediately deposited into an interest-bearing account for the Duffy Scholarship Fund.
Since the inception of the scholarship fund in 1977, we have awarded over fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to needy students attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), formerly, AM & N College. The first scholarships were one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships, but in 2009 the scholarships increased to two-thousand dollars ($2,000).
Scholarships are offered annually to high school graduating seniors. Beginning in the fall of 2014, one two-thousand dollar ($2,000) scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who plans to attend UAPB, and one two-thousand dollar ($2,000) scholarship to a graduating senior attending the college of his/her choice in the United States.
The Duffy Scholarship Fund has an annual fundraiser on Mrs. Leona Stith Duffy’s birthday, April 30th each year.