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Memorial Scholarship Honors a Faithful Monarch

Florence Blankenship

Florence P. Blankenship with her family during the holidays

Florence P. Blankenship was a dedicated Virginia Beach educator, high school librarian and proud ODU alumna! Her Greek-Cypriot parents, Christ and Mary Pavlides, strongly believed in the power of education and always encouraged Flo—and her sister Irene—to pursue a college education. So, after graduating from Granby High School, Old Dominion University became the perfect fit!

Flo became a positive force on campus for her outstanding leadership both in and out of the classroom. She was elected president of her class, president of the Honor Society, president of her sorority and a member of the student executive council. She earned her B.A. in English in 1962, and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in library science in 1984. Flo retired as head librarian at Bayside High School after 33 years with Virginia Beach public schools.

After college, Flo remained active in her community. She became an ODU Alumni Board member, she began to support ODU financially and also volunteered for other organizations. Flo was a founder and parish council member of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, where she organized summer camps for children and was known for her warm visits to parishioners no matter their circumstances. Flo received a special community recognition award for her care and compassion, and she will always be remembered for her cheese-filled phyllo triangles!

Florence Blankenship

Flo (right) at an Honor Society event during her time at ODU

After Flo lost her battle with cancer, Irene reached out to the Gift Planning Office at ODU to explore ways she might honor Flo’s life of education and service. She learned that the family could set up a scholarship in Flo’s name to support a student in the Library and Information Studies program in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. This generous gift will continue to celebrate Flo’s life in perpetuity through annual scholarship awards to deserving ODU students.

You too can make a lasting impact on ODU students by establishing a scholarship in your name—or a loved one’s—through your estate plan. Contact Barbara M. Henley, CFRE at 757-683-6563 or bhenley@odu.edu or Brett A. Smiley, CFRE at 757-683-4735 or bsmiley@odu.edu to learn more.

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