Beatrix Richards ’86 Endows New Scholarship for Students with Disabilities
When Beatrix “Trix” Richards transferred into Washington College, she immediately felt as though she belonged. As a student, she was an American Studies major, member of the Women’s Crew Team, and pledged Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Almost 30 years later, Trix still remembers that regatta when she didn’t “catch a crab”, the time Professor Fallaw earned his nickname “Bouncing Bob”, and simply relaxing on the dock with friends sharing stories. These memories have led her to establish an endowed scholarship through an estate provision. The last 15 years have guided her decision to help disabled students through scholarship.
After graduation in 1986, Trix wanted to explore the legal profession. She studied at the Philadelphia Paralegal Institute, and later moved to DC to serve as a paralegal. Soon after, she discovered a new love in a second career in banking. She loved working on mortgages and eventually became an investment broker, finding a real passion for this area of work.
In December of 1999, Trix went to the hospital with dehydration after a bout with the flu. In attempting to rehydrate her, she was accidentally overhydrated causing neurological injuries and sending her into a coma. When she was at last revived, Beatrix was told that she would never be mobile again and would have to live in assisted living for the rest of her life. Her brokerage license was taken away and chances to continue her career were gone. For the next decade, she tirelessly worked in physical rehabilitation and thanks to an amazing physical therapist and her own determination; she is able to walk again (and inspire countless others in the meantime).
This year, Trix attended her first alumni event since her coma. Not long after, she decided she wanted to make a gift to WC through her will that would establish a scholarship for students with disabilities, above and beyond their financial aid package.
On April 11, Trix returned to campus with her mother, Paddy. She spent time with the current Women’s Crew team captains in the new Visitors Center and met members of AOPi in their chapter room in Minta Martin. Much to her dismay, she learned that the sororities are no longer housed in Minta Martin. She explained how nice it was to simply walk downstairs and have chapter meetings in pajamas – something that is utterly ruined by the prospect of trekking across campus in said pajamas.
To end the evening, Trix attended a dinner to honor new faculty members with a number of board members and College staff. As the dinner came to a close, President Reiss stood and shared Trix’s story, concluding with news of her gift and a standing ovation. Thank you to Trix – for helping us demonstrate that WC welcomes people of all abilities, and for showing the courage and character of a Washington College alumnus.