Late Leisure World resident’s estate expands scholarships The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Late Leisure World resident’s estate expands scholarships

Late Leisure World resident’s estate expands scholarships


The estate of a departed Leisure World resident is enabling the American Association of University Women (AAUW) East Mesa Branch to help more young women get a college education.

AAUW several years ago was the beneficiary of the estate of Violet Larney, who “was a generous contributor to many improvement projects” and founded the branch in 1989 and became its first president,” said current president Sandra Lackore.

This year the East Mesa Branch, with the assistance of Larney’s bequest, awarded 12 scholarships for a total value of $186,500.

Most of Violet’s gift is managed by the Arizona Community Foundation, which the AAUW’s scholarship committee also is using to assist “in vetting scholars and moving beyond the community college level to a STEM scholarship recipient at Arizona state University,” Lackore said.  The committee is chaired by Judy Taucher-Lewis.

In additional to the local scholarships, the East Mesa Branch established a national fellowship in honor of Violet and Norbert Larney. 

The first recipient of that fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year was Varina Clark, who has earned a medical degree and is doing research at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Currently her research explores potential biomarkers that will aid in laying the foundation for therapeutic target for pulmonary hypertension

Starting in 1993, the local AAUW branch held annual fundraisers to support scholarships through Mesa Community College and has helped support 40 scholars.

“However, it hasn’t been about just giving money. Each scholar was assigned a mentor who was trained to give support to her recipient,” Lackore said. “Annual gatherings of scholars, as well as participation at the branches annual scholarship luncheon, have continued to reinforce the ties between the scholars and their mentors.”

Violet Larney earned her PhD. from the University of Wisconsin in 1950 and was a professor of mathematics at the State University of New York at Albany before moving to Arizona.

Her husband Norbert designed the three generators at Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant.

High school senior and college
students may apply for the AAUW scholarships between Jan. 1 and March 14 at 

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