This fund is being established in loving memory of William S. Abraham by his wife Lee Weeks Abraham. Music and the arts have been a significant part of the lives of Mrs. Lee Weeks Abraham of New Martinsville and her late husband, William S. Abraham.
Mrs. Abraham’s interest in music began in grade school with piano lessons that her mother insisted upon. She went on to study the flute and played in the Triadelphia High School Orchestra for four years. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Liberty and taught in the Hancock, Ohio and Wetzel County schools. While teaching at Steelton Grade School in New Martinsville she established a chorus and dance group for students in the fourth through sixth grades.
At Magnolia Junior High School, New Martinsville, she taught vocal music, music appreciation, dance, theater and art. She also was staging and/or dialogue director for musicals at Magnolia High School. She also taught a course at West Virginia Northern Community College, New Martinsville division. Additionally, Mrs. Abraham was the first director of numerous children’s theater musicals and operettas and also completed post-graduate work in multiple artistic disciplines at West Virginia University and Ithaca College in New York, including music appreciation, dramatics, children’s dramatics, opera theater, theater directing, and modern dance. Mr. Abraham also was an arts enthusiast, a jazz aficionado and an accomplished bassist who played for more than 40 years, beginning with the Arden Wilson Band in Wheeling.
Mr. Abraham also enjoyed oil painting and several of his works were accepted for display at Oglebay Park. A banker for more than 40 years, Mr. Abraham was president and chief executive officer of the New Martinsville-Pine Grove Divisions of Wheeling National Bank. He also was a member of the bank’s board of directors until his retirement in 1988. He was a graduate of Wheeling High School, the Eliot School of Business and attended West Liberty State College.
Mrs. Abraham has been active in many arts and civic organizations and is a member of the American Association of University Women and the Humane Society of the United States. She has also been affiliated with the Arts Council of New Martinsville and the directory department of Riverside Players.
In addition to a qualifying gift being made by Mrs. Abraham to establish this endowment, Mrs. Abraham has made arrangements so that, upon termination, a portion of the William S. and Lee Weeks Abraham Trust shall be added to the corpus of this endowment.
Every four years one or more incoming freshmen majoring in music will be awarded with a four year scholarship. The amount and the number of scholarships shall be based on the available income from the endowment.
Requirements: Eligible applicants must be an incoming freshman with a music related major, Music Education is included. A cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 and a score of 20 on the ACT or 950 on the SAT is required. Applicants must pass the audition requirements to be accepted into the West Liberty music program.