Sept. 1-7, 2000
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Favorite daughter earns Faculty/Staff Scholarship
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Favorite daughter earns Faculty/Staff Scholarship

By Dan Heuchert

Mark, Rebecca and Jennifer Arrington
Stephanie Gross
Jennifer Arrington (right), got settled into Dunglison, her first-year dorm, with some help from her mother, Rebecca Arrington, graphics editor/staff writer for Inside UVA, and her brother, Mark, a junior at Emory & Henry College. Jennifer received the faculty/staff scholarship this year.

OK we'll admit it: when it comes to this story, we here at Inside UVA are a little biased. You would be, too, if you knew Jennifer Arrington, this year's recipient of the Faculty and Staff Scholarship, as well as we do. She's the daughter of graphics editor and writer Rebecca Arrington, a member of the Inside UVA staff for the past 18 years. Jennifer has been a frequent visitor to this office; as a little girl, she occasionally curled up and slept under her mother's desk.

That little girl has grown up into a formidable young woman with an impressive resume -- impressive enough to earn formal accolades from the Greene County School Board and congratulatory notes from Virginia's governor and several other elected officials.

It was also impressive enough to earn her the fourth Faculty and Staff Scholarship, a $2,000 undergraduate award to a deserving child of a faculty or staff member established through the Faculty and Staff Campaign in January 1997. There were 10 applicants this year for the scholarship, awarded by the Office of Admission and the Financial Aid Office based upon both merit and need.

Jennifer, 18, hoped to attend U.Va. or another nearby school to stay close to her mother, who she called "the most important person in my life."

"She always stressed academics, before sports and everything else we were doing," Jennifer said.

Academically, she is a member of the National Honor Society and finished 11th in a graduating class of 157 at William Monroe High School. She was president of her class in both her junior and senior years, and was selected to sit on the principal's student advisory council and to attend a statewide Youth Leadership Seminar in Richmond. She also participated in the Upward Bound program for promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The list of her extracurricular activities in high school is exhausting. Her primary involvement was with the Beta Club, a national high school honors and community service organization. She also participated in the Adopt-A-Grandparent program and refereed youth basketball games.

She's also quite an athlete. Jennifer was the Greene Dragons' top distance runner in both cross-country and track for all four years of her high school career -- earning all-state honors in 1997 and 1998 in cross country and in the two-mile event on the track in 1999 -- and played basketball and volleyball each year, as well.

Her involvement in sports and community service activities led to her being chosen by the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance as one of 12 people nationwide to receive its Citizenship Through Sports Awards. Among the others selected: Michelle Akers, a member of the U.S. national women's soccer team; Tony Gwynn of Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres; Hersey Hawkins, of NBA's Chicago Bulls; Will Shields of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings; and U.Va. alumnus Dawn Staley of the WNBA's Charlotte Sting.

Mother and daughter spent months filling out scholarship applications, and the effort paid off. She was surprised at William Monroe's graduation with the Carroll Vernon Award, a $16,000, four-year scholarship established by the estate of a prominent Greene County resident for a deserving county graduate.

At U.Va., Jennifer plans to enter the five-year teaching program, with the ultimate aim of teaching high school math and coaching cross country, she said. She was invited to try out for the U.Va. cross country team, but said she will put that on hold for at least a year while she explores other activities.

"I'd like to take kick-boxing," she said.

The Faculty and Staff Scholarship endowment was established through the gifts of U.Va. employees, which are matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000 by the University. Employees whose children are planning to apply to U.Va. next year should contact the Financial Aid Office in December. Call 982-6000 or e-mail the office at


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