|By: Holly Haber
The grassy lawn in front of the DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum has been transformed into a lovely garden in honor of Hazel Valeria “Val” Late by her daughter and son-in law, Jan Late McMillan and Richard “Dick” McMillan of Midland, and their children, Kirsten, Lindsay, Richard and Emily.
The Val Late Garden of Memories pays tribute to the many times Late and her daughter visited the arboretum together. Late especially enjoyed the majestic magnolia tree — the largest in the metro area — that has stood in front of the historic home since 1936.
“This was a favorite spot of Mrs. Late,” said Dave Forehand, vice president of gardens. “This garden allowed us to really highlight and showcase that magnolia.”
Walter Dahlberg of Dahlberg Landscape Design Studios and Steve Dodd of Steve Dodd & Associates designed the 1/3-acre garden to open up a grand view of the home from the arboretum’s main walkway, the Paseo de Flores.
The Val Late garden features a circular fountain surrounded by flowering cherry trees and azaleas, crape myrtles, hollies, seasonal color and limestone terraces furnished with tables and chairs.
The wife of oil tycoon Frank Late, Val Late was a major supporter of Southern Methodist University, where she donated the Frank and Val Late Fountain dedicated in 2009. She died in 2011 at age 96.
The Dallas-based Army Scholarship Foundation has awarded 50 college scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 to the children and spouses of active-duty enlisted soldiers nationwide.
North Texas winners were Frances Dean of Richardson, a sophomore studying public health at the University of Georgia; and Samantha Nance of Fort Worth, a senior majoring in business and human relations at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
Scholarship contributors for the 2015-16 academic year included the Perot family, KBR Inc., BAE Systems, the Association of the U.S. Army Audie Murphy North Texas Chapter, Elbit Systems, General Dynamics Corp., Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and Fluor Corp.
The nonprofit was founded in 2001 in San Antonio as the Paladin Foundation. In 2006, it moved to Springfield, Va., and its name was changed to the Army Scholarship Foundation. In 2010, its main office moved to Dallas.
“We are an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff,” said Jeff Gault, who has been director of the Army Scholarship Foundation for 10 years.
The group will hold its first Dallas fundraiser Oct. 27, Gault said. The Stand Up for Heroes luncheon at Brook Hollow Golf Club will feature Jody Dean as emcee and Gen. John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, as the guest of honor.
You can learn more about the Army Scholarship Foundation at armyscholarshipfoundation.org.