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College Scholarships in Memory of Two Trustees

October 29, 2020 10:36 AM
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Hopkins House announces establishment of college scholarships in memory of trustees Clarence A. Johnson and Willard O. Jasper, who both passed away within months of each other at the start of this preschool year. This is the first time in more than 60 years the organization will grant college scholarships.

In the 1950’s Hopkins House awarded college scholarships to graduates of Parker-Gray High School, the high school in the City of Alexandria designated for African-Americans and other people of color during the Jim Crow period of racially segregated schools. The last of these scholarships were awarded in 1965 to students in the last graduating class before the high school was torn down. 

Johnson and Jasper were college science majors and, during their time as Hopkins House Trustees, urged the organization to encourage and support teens of color to pursue a college degree and career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. These scholarships are an effort by the Hopkins House Trustees to realize this dream.

Hopkins House will begin accepting applications for these scholarships in early 2021. Priority consideration will be given to graduates of the Hopkins House Preschool Academy who have demonstrated financial need, served as a volunteer at a community organization, church, military or fraternal group, been admitted to a college, preferably (but not required) an Historically Black College or University, and intend to purse an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

The first Willard O. Jasper STEM College Scholarship and Clarence A. Johnson STEM College Scholarship, each in the amount of $2,500, will be awarded in late 2021, and annually thereafter. 

A fundraising campaign will be launched later this year by The Hopkins House Fund, the organization's fundraising arm, to build an endowment, over time, of at least $250,000, with the interest earned used to fund annual scholarships in perpetuity.

Both of these gentlemen were distinguished in their careers and active in their community.

 

CLARENCE ALBERT JOHNSON served as a Hopkins House Trustee for 47 years, Clarencefrom 1973 to 2020. He was the organization’s longest serving trustee. He also served as Board Chair for two 3-year terms and as Treasurer for 3 terms.

He attended Tuskegee Institute (now University), Tuskegee, Alabama, and worked his way through college by teaching a class for the freshman students and recording the music during chapel. When it was time to graduate with his degree in Electrical Engineering, Tuskegee owed him money. He donated the money owed to him, to Tuskegee, with the request that it be given as a scholarship to a needy student.

Johnson was employed at Night Visions Laboratories at Ft. Belvoir for thirty-years. Some of his work included creating the night vision scope which is placed on rifles and used to this very day. In addition, they paid for him attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he earned his master’s degree. This afforded him the unique opportunity to address a United Nations audience in Brussels, Belgium.

He joined Shiloh Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia in 1959, where he served as Treasurer for more than thirty-five years as well as a member of the Trustee Board. 

In addition to Hopkins House, he served in numerous organizations, including President of the Alexandra Rotary Club, Treasurer of the Alexandria Local NAACP and Treasurer for the State of Virginia NAACP, and President of the Tuskegee Alumni Housing Foundation in Columbus, Ohio. 

 

WILLARD OWEN JASPER served as a Hopkins House Trustee for 10 years, from Willard2010 to 2020. He also served as Assistant Treasurer of Hopkins House for 3 years.

In addition to his service as a Hopkins House trustee, Jasper served as a board officer for the Northern Virginia Urban League Guild; Deacon at the Alfred Street Baptist Church; Lee District Election Poll Worker for all elections for over 25 years; Commissioner and Vice-Chairman of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority; member of the Board of Trustees for the Fairfax County Public Library System; on the boards New Hope Housing, Big Brothers of the National Capital Area, Fairfax County United Way, and Route One Corridor Housing, Inc.

He was also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.: District Chaplain within the Third District for 17 years, and held honorary title of Chaplin Emeritus for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Third District. He was the founder of and a 12-year member of Project MANHOOD, a life skills program, which consists of individuals within the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity who mentor young boys between the ages 7 and 17.

 

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