Gaskins gives opportunities

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Almost two years ago, I met an interesting Prince Edward County resident who made me think about life a little harder. Not only did this person intrigue me with the quirky stories that he had to tell, but he amazed me with his love for knowledge and history. This man is Dr. Ray Gaskins.

On any given week, you could find Gaskins stopping by The Farmville Herald showing off his newest article on history in the Farmville area or just wanting to chat about sports. He would tell about his newest workout or reminisce on participating in competitions that ranged from running in races against college kids to waterskiing.

After I came to know Gaskins a little more, I began to look forward to him stopping by to tell some of his favorite stories from his past. Some included his time at Hampden-Sydney College and Virginia Tech, while some included him telling me about an up-and-coming athlete in the state. He loved sports and he loved bringing light to the colleges and all the good they were doing.

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It wasn’t until I interviewed Gaskins for a story on his athletic history that I would find out about his contributions to local colleges in Virginia and how much he supported their athletic programs.

Not only does Gaskins show his support of VT, Longwood and H-SC by attending sporting events every year, but his large donations assist those school’s programs in improving and building for years to come.

Not only does he care about their sports programs — wanting to see them get better because he would like to see his teams succeed — but he understands that those colleges need help in developing better student-leaders who will grow up and change this world.

People like Gaskins are hard to come by and deserve a round of applause. Because of his donations, schools like Longwood (which recently received a donation of over $1 million from Gaskins) can commit even more to producing knowledgeable leaders and teachers whom this world needs.

Whether it be cheering a team on against its biggest rivalry or giving to a cause like education, we could all learn the lesson of support from Gaskins.

HANNAH DAVIS is the sports editor at The Farmville Herald. She is also the editor of The Charlotte Gazette and The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. Her email address is