This scholarship is established in memory of W.T. Harnsberger and is an annual award made to a geology major to partially defray the costs of a summer field camp. Wilbur T. Harnsberger was a fuels geologist for the state of Virginia and was the first geologist hired by Madison College. Mr. Harnsberger became the first Geology Department head and remained in the position for 21 years.
Bill Harnsberger is best described in a letter from the faculty to the administration: “Clearly Mr. Harnsberger’s greatest efforts were directed toward building the Department of Geology at Madison College. Beginning with a desk, half of a table top, and a metal storage cabinet, he built the second largest science department at Madison, and what has been called one of the best undergraduate geology departments in Virginia. This was accomplished under the constrictions of limited space and funding requiring uncommon tenacity and dedication of purpose. Many years were spent teaching 20 contact hours per week in addition to class preparation, specimen and material acquisition, course development, and administrative duties, all of which are needed for an expanding program. The task of developing a Department of Geology, which has become a credit to Madison College, required vast expenditures of physical and mental energy.”
Bill Harnsberger was truly a remarkable and dedicated man.