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The DelMastro family continued its longstanding support of Wilson Community College Wednesday with a $50,000 scholarship endowment.
WCC President Tim Wright thanked the family for its “ongoing and incredible generosity.”
Maria DelMastro Allen, daughter of Salvatore DelMastro, a founding father of Wilson County Technical Institute which later became Wilson Community College, explained how much the school meant to her father.
“I always loved that he would get here early every morning because there was just the one little building. It was just a little one-story, long building that was the best place to rollerskate,” Allen said. “Daddy would stand outside the doors every morning and greet every student that walked in, because the students meant that much to him. The first class only had seven students in it.”
Frank Eagles, a former WCC president, worked for DelMastro until his death in March 1971.
“He was a really, really great guy to work for and everybody here loved him,” Eagles said. “Everybody who worked with him just thought he was the greatest guy in the world.”
Thursday’s donation came from Salvatore DelMastro’s nephew, Paul Nicholas DelMastro, who died July 7.
Denise McDonald, executrix of the DelMastro estate, described Paul DelMastro as a generous person who always stayed in the background.
“He was not the person that would have ever mentioned any of the gifts that he gave, but he gave regularly in nice sums of money to lots of different charities,” McDonald said. “But he also gave in places where he knew it would make a big difference, too.”
Among the beneficiaries of Paul DelMastro’s many previous donations was the DelMastro Scholarship Fund.
“I think that it would be very important to Paul to continue the education. He would want that for all,” McDonald said. “He was probably the biggest champion of women’s rights that I have ever known.”
Wright said more than two-thirds of WCC students are women.
“For the DelMastro and Allen families, we so much appreciate your longstanding relationship with the college,” Wright said. “I think we are very lucky that the family has kept that relationship and that commitment so strongly and for so long, and we do appreciate it. We take that generosity and we transform it into life quality improvement for the folks of Wilson County.”
Allen said her desire is that no limitations be placed on the scholarship recipients and that scholarships are open to any full-time or part-time student regardless of financial need, that it’s “open to any student who walks in the door here, any age, any sex, any whatever.”
Wright said that over 15 years, the college has changed from mostly full-time to mostly part-time students.
Keith Warren, chairman of the WCC Foundation, expressed appreciation for the gift.
“What a blessing it is to have a family that understands the mission of the college and continues to support the college,” Warren said. “Generous donations are very appreciated. As chairman of the foundation, I would like to thank you for your continued support and we are going to do our best to make sure we take good care of those funds — put them to good use to help improve people’s lives.”
David West, co-chairman of the WCC Board of Trustees, thanked the family for the donation.
“It will help educate young people to enrich their life as they move forward along their path of what they want to do,” West said.