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King University News :: Caldwell Family Donates $1 Million for Scholarships to King University

BRISTOL, Tenn. September 23, 2014 – The David and Frances Caldwell Scholarship was established in June 2014, and made possible through the generosity of Frances Frazier Caldwell, whose estate provided a very generous gift to establish a scholarship for students at King. The donation for scholarship support totaled $1,022,194.97.

Frances Frazier Caldwell and her late husband David Caldwell were long-time members of First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tenn., where they both sang in the choir.  Their membership at the church provided them with opportunities to interact with students, faculty, and staff at King University over the years. Their love for education and a desire to make it accessible for those seeking a higher education prompted them to include King University in their estate planning.

“While at First Presbyterian the Caldwells quietly and humbly developed an affection for King, and because of their thoughtful gift, King’s students now and long into the future will benefit from their generosity,” says Denise Asbury, director of Development at King University. “The Caldwells did not request that an endowed fund be named in their honor, however, because of their tremendous contributions to not only King but to other organizations in the Bristol community, we feel it was appropriate to establish the scholarship in their names in order to honor them.”

David, age 91 when he passed in 2003, co-founded Bivins Caldwell, Inc., which became the largest firm in the southern U.S., specializing in electronic engineering and measurements. The firm was later acquired by Hewlett-Packard, with which he remained until his retirement in 1976. 

Frances, a talented pianist who passed away in Feb. 2014 at the age of 100, gave generously to many charities including the Paramount Center for the Arts. It was there she sponsored the “Summer Tunes at Noon” in memory of her late husband. “Her substantial gift to King was a shared desire agreed upon by her and her husband years earlier; King University students will be inspired and touched by this heartfelt gift,” says Asbury.


King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.