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- Paris Flash
You never know when a random act of kindness may make a huge difference. For some it is a kind word, action or deed. For others, an invitation to do something they might not otherwise attend. In this particular case, many people welcomed a newcomer to Paris and offered many ways to be involved. Now generations of Paris Junior College students will be helped by Delpha Margaret Beck Novak’s legacy.
Originally from Cascade Locks, Oregon, Delpha Novak grew up in Seattle, Wash., and graduated from Franklin High School. She and her late husband, Anton Novak, moved to Hugo, Okla., in 1981. Married on May 29, 1941, the couple had spent many years in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Their success in business ventures, including in the construction industry, enabled them to live a comfortable, quiet life. Mr. Novak passed away in May 1989 and Mrs. Novak relocated to the Continental Village Apartments in Paris.
Mrs. Novak developed a special friendship with Bobby Walters, President Emeritus of Paris Junior College, and his wife Imy. She enjoyed many years of special PJC and community activities. At the age of 72, Mrs. Novak even enrolled in continuing education courses in photography and works of art during the summers of 1992 and 1993. Walters quickly points to the close friendship of his wife, Imy and Mrs. Novak as the key leading to a special act of kindness. The ladies celebrated birthdays together and other special occasions. From the Walters’ recollection, Mrs. Novak attended every special Rotary Club benefit from the beginning with Rex Allen, Jr. in 1996, through the 2005 “Circus! Circus!”-themed event coordinated by former PJC Institutional Development/Alumni Association Director Johnye Robertson.
Those Rotary events came about through the visionary forethought of the late PJC Board of Regents’ President Daon Wall. The Paris Rotary Clubs worked together to provide annual fundraising events to establish a scholarship fund. They hoped that one day, every graduating high school student in Lamar County could attend PJC on a scholarship. The success of the events begun in 1996 grew an endowed gift that now provides over $15,000 annually to worthy high school students. It wasn’t until Mrs. Novak’s death in January 2013 that Mr. Walters learned of the impact seeing and being a part of these special PJC events meant to Mrs. Novak, who only had a high school diploma to her credit.
Walters noted Mrs. Novak’s will states, “I give this gift to the Paris Junior College Memorial Foundation to fund scholarships for Lamar County High School graduates who attend Paris Junior College.” Neither Walters nor the college would elaborate on the size of the gift but it could result in at least $30,000 in scholarships annually.
PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin said, “You never know how you may influence someone today in such a way they find ways to both honor and recognize the difference you have made in their lives. We are grateful for the gentle way that Imy invited Mrs. Novak to be part of the PJC family. Students for generations to come will hear the story of how this generous gift came to the Foundation to benefit the students at PJC.”
For more information on how to include Paris Junior College in estate planning or making a gift, contact Derald Bulls, Director of Institutional Advancement/Alumni Affairs, at (903) 782-0276 or email@example.com.
Pictured: Posed around the framed photograph of the late Daon Wall at the check presentation are, from left, PJC Institutional Development/Alumni Affairs Director Derald Bulls, PJC Annual Fund Co-Chair Bobby Walters, Imy Walters, PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin, andPJC Annual Fund Co-Chair Jo Ann Parkman.