Bequest of $1 Million Establishes Scholarship Endowment

Posted: November 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

A $1 million bequest from the late Daphonal Bell of Arlington, Va., to the university has established the Samuel J. and Daphonal T. Bell Scholarship Endowment to provide tuition assistance for undergraduate and graduate students.

Daphonal Bell initiated the endowment to honor the memory of her late husband, Samuel Joseph Bell, and emulate his generosity to the community. Her bequest to George Mason was inspired by the knowledge of others who had memorialized loved ones by endowing named funds at the university.

Joseph Bell founded the S. J. Bell Construction Company in Alexandria, Va., in 1947, and Daphonal Bell became the company’s acting president after her husband suffered a major stroke in 1983. Before he died in 1994, he gave a major gift of real estate to the Virginia park system. Daphonal Bell died in 2001.

The Bell endowment is one of 63 scholarship endowments that have been created since the beginning of George Mason’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign in 1998. To date, The Campaign for George Mason University has raised more than $106 million in private support for student, faculty, and program assistance.

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