In memoriam contributions made part of museum’s new endowment

Novey W. Wiley Sr.

The Robert Russa Moton Museum has started an endowment and has moved previously In-memoriam donations into it. The change has already taken effect but should have no ramification and go unnoticed by donors. Future in memoriam donations will go into the endowment.

There is $6,010 in the endowment amount.

“For the long-term stability of the institution it’s important to establish an endowment account and we can think of no better way to start than seeding it with money from the long-term In memoriam fund,” Museum Director Lacy Ward Jr. said. “It means gifts given In memoriam will have an everlasting impact on the museum.”

Novey W. Wiley Sr. said his niece, Celeste Wiley, who died in July 2008, would be glad to see her In memoriam donations to the museum now going into an endowment for the museum’s growth.

“I think it sounds good,” he said.

Novey Wiley said Celeste was a strong supporter of the museum. “Every time they had something she would come home and attend,” he said. “She always stood up for what was right; she always stood up for equality. … She was a very smart girl. We miss her some kind of bad.”

In memoriam donations to the museum are not new.

Thomas Mayfield’s support for the museum was well known. Mayfield was a long-time educator and active advocate for the creation of the Moton museum, who served as the president of the museum’s board of directors

Also, after Freda Siler McCombs died on April 22, 2010 her family asked that donations be sent to the museum. McCombs was a science professor at Longwood University, retiring in 1992 as the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the school.

The Robert Russa Moton Museum is located at 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Virginia. It is the site of the April 23, 1951 student walkout, led by 16-year-old junior Barbara Johns, in protest of inferior educational facilities. The Moton strike launched Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle for Civil Rights in Education and resulted in the filing of Davis v. Prince Edward, which called for an end to racial segregation in public education. Davis was decided, along with four other cases, in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.

The museum is establishing a permanent exhibit that will trace Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle to establish an integrated school system. The exhibition will be in place by April 23, 2011, the 60th anniversary of the student protest. It will offer the only place in the Commonwealth of Virginia where visitors can come to understand the processes by which citizens and their national, state, and local governments resolved the policy issues of segregation in public education. For more information visit the museum’s web site at <> .

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