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Woman Leaves $1.9 Million to University of the Cumberlands for Act of Kindness

Williamsburg, Ky. - A married couple from New York were traveling along Kentucky’s Highway 25 when their car broke down near the town of Williamsburg. Strangers stranded in an unfamiliar town, the couple had nowhere to turn. To make matters worse, the wife had only one leg and no prosthesis, so traveling by foot was out of the question. With their options severely limited, the pair’s outlook and hopes were fading quickly.

But, it did seem, after all, as if a few kind people still remained in the world, or at least in Williamsburg, Kentucky. A student attending Cumberland College, now known as University of the Cumberlands, noticed the marooned couple. Having never met them previously, he offered help.

The ambitious student contacted college officials. He, along with a few other college students and officials, helped the couple in every way possible by providing meals and lodging during the three day time span for which the couple’s vehicle was repaired.

Throughout the years, the wife retold this story of gratitude and selflessness. She would tell how she was impressed with the mannerly, caring and hard working Appalachian students from Cumberland College; and her story always ended with how she would never forget the kind, thoughtful students who had come to her rescue at the little college in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

And she didn’t.

Honoring her word, the lady stranded some decades earlier did not forget the students’ act of kindness. Now, decades after she was the recipient of the students’ generosity, Sarah L. Bornscheaer bequested $1.9 million to University of the Cumberlands to provide scholarships for deserving Appalachians to attend the university.

Even in a world full of passers by, the kindness of strangers continues to exist.

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 117th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and 9 pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, non-traditional programs for adults.