Joann Bashinsky, affectionately known around Alabama as “Mama B,” has established a scholarship fund at Miles College, the HBCU located in Fairfield.
WVTM reported this week that the new scholarship fund will provide four-year scholarships covering tuition and fees to selected students who lack financial resources to attend college. Bashinsky’s total contribution was reportedly $168,000.
“This gift exemplifies the passion Mrs. Bashinsky has for improving the lives of young people in our community and ensuring that opportunity and access to education is available for all those who seek it,” stated Miles College President Bobbie Knight.
Bashinsky is the heiress to the Golden Flake fortune and one of the state’s most beloved philanthropists.
“These young people deserve the best that life has to offer and I hope my gift will help them achieve their dreams,” commented Bashinsky.
This gift was almost made impossible by the Jefferson County Probate Court and County Conservator Greg Hawley improperly handling an attempt to take control of Bashinsky’s assets and personal affairs. Fortunately, the Alabama Supreme Court has intervened, ruling that the probate system “egregiously violated” Bashinsky’s “basic due-process rights.”
While then-presiding Probate Judge Alan King has recently retired amid the controversy, Hawley still remains in his position.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn