Two Davis & Elkins College freshmen, Emily Marple and Katelyn Leary, both of Randolph County, have additional financial assurance as the 2020 recipients of the William H. Burky Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship was created in memory of William H. Burky, son of the late Ralph and Elsie Burky. A native of Pickens and the 1972 valedictorian of Pickens School, Burky graduated cum laude from Davis & Elkins College in 1976 and received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. He passed away in 1981. The scholarship was first established in 1997 to assist one student and just this summer was expanded to include two students. Selection is based upon need, strong moral character and academic achievement. Students from West Virginia, preferably Randolph County, are eligible to apply.

Marple, a resident of Harman, says she was surprised and excited to learn she had received the scholarship.

“College is a big expense and this has really helped take down the cost,” she said. “I really want to thank them for selecting me.”

A first-generation student, Marple is the daughter of Jackie Mullenax and Jeremy Marple. In high school, she was the salutatorian of her graduating class, a member of the basketball team, FBLA and National Honor Society. She also was a student in the Davis & Elkins College Upward Bound program for three years. At D&E, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

“I want to help others; I don’t like to see people suffer,” Marple said, adding that she has a special interest in obstetrics.

Leary, a native of Elkins, is studying elementary education with hopes of teaching in grades one through three.

“Since I was in ninth grade, I’ve wanted to be a teacher,” Leary said. “All my positive role models were my teachers and I want to be like them. I think I will enjoy teaching because I get really excited when someone understands something I’m explaining to them.”

Also a first-generation student, Leary is the daughter of Julie and Billy Leary of Elkins. While a student at Elkins High School, she was a member of the band, honor guard, Tigerettes and color guard.

Leary said she was surprised to be selected for the Burky Scholarship and the award has provided encouragement.

“I feel incredibly lucky and honored,” Leary said. “I appreciate what the Burky family has been doing by awarding scholarships. I’d like to meet them in person and thank them.”

Burky Scholar Emily Marple

Emily Marple


Burky Scholar Katelyn Leary

Katelyn Leary