Barbara Sutherland

Barbara Sutherland

Both Barbara Sutherland and her daughter, Emily Sutherland Bowles, were non-traditional college students.

Barbara attended college in the 1930s, when women were relegated to their traditional roles, and few pursued higher education. Her family struggled financially to educate Barbara, but she was a successful student and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

A product of the community college system, Emily earned a nursing degree. Later she attended Radford University, where she juggled the roles of mother and wife, earning a bachelors degree in primary education at the age of 41.

Described as cheerful and vigorous, with a special connection to younger children, Emily found her calling as an elementary school teacher in Virginia.

Her untimely death came just five years after completing her degree at Radford. To honor her memory, Barbara established the Emily S. Bowles Endowed Scholarship at Sandhills.

The Sutherland family’s connections to Sandhills extend beyond Emily’s scholarship. Barbara knew Sandhills President Dr. John Dempsey, and shared his fondness for golf. Dr. Molly Gwinn, sister of Emily and daughter of Barbara, is an adjunct faculty member at Sandhills and has given many lectures on art at the college.

First year Sandhills students demonstrating financial need are eligible for the Bowles scholarship.

Photo: Emily Sutherland Bowles