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Pair of endowed funds focus on Modern Languages programs
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 02:34 Updated 35 weeks ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Elisabeth Kimbler had always wanted to do something meaningful directed to students in higher education. When she passed away in October 2013, Del Kimbler decided to honor her wish. Considering that her parents were Marshall graduates, and in fact met as students at Marshall College, he selected Marshall as the place. Given Art Davidson's interest in languages, Modern Languages was selected as the program. The focus on Study Abroad comes from Beth Kimbler's interest in languages and her belief in the importance of experiencing international culture. The remainder of the endowment, named for her parents, will provide general assistance in support of Modern Languages academic programs, especially in ways difficult to achieve through state funds.
Elisabeth Moore Davidson was born Oct. 28, 1945, in Detroit, second child and only daughter of Arthur Nelson Davidson and Maxine Garrett Davidson. As her father worked in the furniture manufacturing industry designing furniture and managing operations, she grew up in various southeastern locales, chiefly Mullens, S.C., and Paden City, W.Va. In Paden City, she was valedictorian of her high school class. She then attended West Virginia University, where she pledged Alpha Xi Delta sorority and earned a B.A. in psychology.
It was in their first psychology class that Elisabeth met her future husband, Del Kimbler of Holden, in Logan County. They became engaged in 1966 and were married in 1967 after her graduation. Del was in the U.S. Army at the time, and had just completed his advanced training. He was assigned to a U.S. Army post in Asmara, Eritrea in June of 1967, and she joined him there in September. They lived in the local community for the following two years, returning to the U.S. in late 1969.
Various jobs and completing his education occupied the next decade; they finally landed in Clemson, S.C. in 1986. Beth said she tried to retire from her job as a self-employed graphics artist about 10 years ago, but never could quite quit until Del retired from Clemson University in 2008. They did some traveling after that, and Beth kept busy with cooking, gardening and volunteer work. One of the most interesting things they did was to edit a day-in-the-life photography book for the City of Clemson.
Elisabeth Kimbler's mother, Maxine Davidson Feldmeier, was a 1932 graduate of then-Marshall College. She received a Master of Science degree in Library Science from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. Feldmeier did substitute teaching in the Paden City school system and taught full time at Sistersville High School until 1964. From 1964 to 1969, she served as assistant librarian and Alpha Xi Delta charter sorority director at then-West Liberty State College in West Virginia. From 1970 to 1972, she was the regional public library director for Moundsville, W.Va., and four other libraries. She was active in many church, choral, civic organizations and service clubs throughout her lifetime.
Art Davidson was a baseball standout and graduate of then-Marshall College in 1925, and did postgraduate work the following year at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He was a lifelong woodworker and furniture salesman.
The Feldmeier-Davidson fund is designed to provide program support to the Department of Modern Languages, to include, but not be limited to, books, films, equipment, conferences and travel. The dean of the College of Liberal Arts or his or her designee will make the purchase selections.
The Elisabeth Davidson Kimbler Award for Study Abroad will support students of the Department of Modern Languages with costs associated with Study Abroad, to include, but not be limited to, application fees, tuition, books and room and board. The dean of the College of Liberal Arts or his or her designee will select the recipients.
"The College of Liberal Arts is profoundly grateful for Dr. Kimbler's generosity," said Dr. R.B. Bookwalter, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "The endowment will make it possible for our Modern Languages program to provide resources and support travel and scholarship for years to come. The scholarship fund, endowed in Mrs. Kimbler's name, will create many opportunities for Marshall students to study abroad, which is so important in the global economy today. Second language study is proven to promote critical thinking, creativity, and multicultural awareness, not to mention broader career opportunities. Thanks to Dr. Kimbler and his family, Marshall University students will realize those benefits more than ever."
Del Kimbler is a photographer as well as a retired engineering educator. With the development of digital photography, his interest in photography was rekindled, with a fine art focus. He began rediscovering old skills and developing new ideas, leading to several works exhibited in upstate South Carolina, as well as in two international shows (in Kortrijk, Belgium and in Tianjin, China). Most recently he is emphasizing social landscape and studio still life, and experimenting with infrared photography. Much of his work can be viewed at http://www.kimblerphoto.com.
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