WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. Sept. 2, 2021 — A new music scholarship is making one West Liberty University student sing for joy.
Josephine “Josie” Jarrett of Benwood, W.Va. is the first recipient of the Judith Bartell Paesani Vocal Music Scholarship.
A music education major, Jarrett is the daughter of Melinda Gilmore of Benwood and Phillip Jarrett of Moundsville. A graduate of John Marshall High School, she plans to teach music and theater in the future.
“It is an honor to receive this scholarship and I’m very thankful to be the first. I will make sure it is justified,” said Jarrett, who is a member of the West Liberty University Singers. Jarrett also is an alumna of WLU, having earned a degree in theater in 2020.
According to WLU Foundation Executive Director Angie Zambito-Hill, “Judy and Andy Paesani established this endowed scholarship fund in December of 2019 with a gift of $75,000 and we are pleased to make the first disbursement during the 2021- 2022 academic year. Judy and Andy are loyal supporters of West Liberty University who know the value of assisting our students. We are truly grateful.”
“The endowed scholarship fund produced a $1,000 scholarship this academic year but it will grow to support even more music students in the future,” she added.
Judith Bartell Paesani recalls that she was heavily influenced by her mother’s love of music and singing and this scholarship seemed the perfect way to honor her mother, Aldene Miller Bartell, the wife of one of West Liberty’s iconic leaders.
“I recall singing and enjoying music with my mother at home when I was young. It was always a fun way to pass an evening, especially while my father was away,” recalls Judy. Her father was WLU’s legendary football coach Joseph Bartell and he took the car to away games since at that time, there was no school transportation provided to athletes and coaches.
Judy and Andy are both WLU alumni and are pleased to see the scholarship help music students at the university they love, while at the same time honoring her mother.
Her mother, Aldene Miller Bartell, studied piano as a youngster and loved to sing. While a teenager she even played the piano for silent movies. Judy recalls that her mother formed a vocal trio when she first arrived on campus from Fairview, W.Va., her hometown.
Dr. Joseph A. Bartell served at West Liberty in many capacities from 1933 to 1971, including football coach, athletic director, dean of men and dean of students. He was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1981.
Judy earned her bachelor’s degree from WLU’s College of Education and went on to earn a master’s from the University of Connecticut. Andy earned his bachelor’s degree, also from the College of Education, and went on to earn both a master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Iowa.
Judy’s mom was an elementary school teacher and eventually went back to college to finish her degree at WLU, graduating in 1956, in part at Judy’s urging.
“I’m sure that she would be very happy to know that this scholarship is being used to support a future music teacher,” said Zambito-Hill.
The WLU Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established in 1964. Its mission is to support, strengthen and sustain WLU through raising, investment and stewardship of private funds. For more information on establishing endowments or making donations, please call 304.336.5635.