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EDITORIAL:Generosity in action: New athletics bus a win for Bluefield State University

Feb. 10—Acts of generosity often result in people getting the food they need, clothes to wear and help with staying healthy, but one recent act of generosity will help a local university's athletes travel to and from their games in comfort and safety.

A blessing ceremony was held recently at Bluefield State University for a new 40-passenger bus. After the bus was blessed, Interim President Darrin Martin said that an alumnus's generosity made buying the new bus possible.

"She asked to remain anonymous," Martin stated. "We believe it's a she. She donated $227,000 to help us purchase this bus."

"Any time you're a small institution and you're able to get that large an amount of money, it's appreciated," Martin added.

Supporters came to the university campus to see the new vehicle and learn about the act of generosity that made its purchase possible.

"We had a very generous person to donate her funds to the institution and the athletic department to do this for our students," said Dr. Deirdre Guyton, director of alumni affairs for Bluefield State University, said. "It's not very customary, but you know I'm a believer and I think if this is going to be traveling on the highways and byways with our babies, we need to have God bless it for safe travels, traveling mercies, however, you want to put it; so I'm going to ask Rev. Moore right now if he'll step up to the plate and bless it, the bus."

The Rev. Garry Moore, chancellor of Bluefield State, led the people gathered outside the bus in prayer.

Contributing more than a quarter million dollars to any worthwhile project is not a causal decision. This act of generosity will help Bluefield State's sports teams with their travels, but it's also an example of stepping forward and helping one's community.

Derrick Price, vice president of intercollegiate athletics for Bluefield State, said after the blessing that he hopes the university can get even more buses and some vans with help from donors.

"We're looking for some new donors. Maybe we can get two buses," he said then. "Maybe we can get some donors to provide new 15-passenger vans for our smaller teams. We still have a lot of smaller sports like golf that have maybe only 10 players, so they would not use the bus as much as somebody else would; but if we had some new 15-passenger vans for those teams, that would be great for us."

Buses for the university's football teams will still be chartered since they can have over 100 players, but that would leave the new bus open for smaller teams such as soccer and volleyball, Price said.

Donors can help Bluefield State as well as Bluefield University, Concord University, Southwest Virginia Community College and other institutions of higher learning. Acts of generosity can also help the region's county school systems provide expanded extracurricular programs, new equipment and new classroom facilities.

Buses for students, uniforms and equipment for athletic teams, instruments and uniforms for bands, computers and other technology for classrooms and special programs all have something in common. They are very expensive and school systems as well as institutions of higher learning do not always have the money to pay for them all. Costs can run into the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.

Former students often fondly remember the schools they attended during their childhood and the colleges and universities they attended before venturing out into the world on their own. They can help the homes of these memories by demonstrating acts of generosity to their students. These acts don't have to equal millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars. They can be modest sums of money or donations of supplies. Even giving time to special events can help these institutions.

Helping Bluefield State University acquire a new athletics bus is a great example of generosity in action. It sets a good example for the community.