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University of West Florida memorial scholarship endowment to honor UWF alumna

The University of West Florida College of Education and Professional Studies recently received a $100,000 gift from Curtis and Lavona Boone to establish the CeCe Boone Memorial Endowment Scholarship.

Cornelia "CeCe" Boone with her parents, Curtis and Lavonna Boone

The endowment, which was created in memory of Cornelia “CeCe” Boone by her family, will fund scholarships for students who have graduated from a high school in Escambia County or Santa Rosa County, and who are majoring in elementary education. Four students received scholarships this semester.

“The CeCe Boone Memorial Scholarship will provide generous support for deserving UWF students originating from Escambia or Santa Rosa counties who are studying elementary education,” said Dr. William Crawley, dean of the UWF College of Education and Professional Studies. “These scholarships will benefit not only the students that receive them, but will also ripple forward to positively impact hundreds of elementary students throughout the region.”

Boone, a UWF alumna, earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology. She graduated magna cum laude in 1992. After graduation, she worked for many years at  her family’s business, Brunken Manufacturing Company, alongside her father, Curtis Boone. Her mother, Lavona Boone, was a teacher in Escambia County for 30 years. She guided many UWF student interns in her classroom over the years, which provided her inspiration behind establishing a scholarship for students majoring in elementary education.

“Training interns in my classroom and taking courses at UWF helped me develop an appreciation for the University,” said Lavona Boone. “I strongly believe that scholarships can change the future of the world. CeCe was a brilliant student and a wonderful person. We believe this is a great way to honor her legacy.”

CeCe was a National Garden Club accredited flower show judge and enjoyed being a member of the Sassafras Garden Club. Until her illness, she was very involved in various church ministries at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, including the church choir and altar guild. She sang in the choir with lifelong friend, Melanie Curtis, for nearly two decades.

“CeCe was the sweetest, smartest, and humblest person,” said Curtis. “This scholarship will perpetuate her legacy of learning, and go to deserving people who will have the success CeCe had.”

Danielle Dixon, a scholarship recipient and graduate of Pace High School, is only in her second year at UWF but has already received enough credits to be classified as a junior, inching closely and quickly to graduation and her dream job of becoming a teacher.

“I feel so blessed to have received this scholarship and want to give God all the glory and praise for what He has done in my life,” said Dixon. “I’m so thankful to have received this because it will allow me to further my education and make a difference in the lives of students when I become a teacher.”

Sarah Harris, a scholarship recipient and graduate of Navarre High School says UWF has given her the opportunity to be close to family while learning how to be independent.

“Patience is a virtue that leads down the road of success,” said Harris, a UWF junior. “This scholarship is helping me through college so that I can become an educator for elementary aged students, and this saying helps me to always do what I can to achieve my dreams.”

Individuals who fit the criteria of this scholarship, may fill out a general scholarship application on the College of Education and Professional Studies website.