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Quarles petroleum family gives $250,000 to Germanna early college programs

The late Kitty and Douglas E. Quarles Jr., in whose name a $250,000 donation has been made to Germanna Community College to support Early College programs.

Kitty and Ben Wafle made a $250,000 donation supporting Germanna Community College’s Early College programs in honor of her late parents, Douglas Earle Quarles, Jr. and Kathryn “Kitty” Maddux Quarles.

In Germanna’s Early College program, students can complete and graduate with an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree in General Studies while concurrently enrolled in high school.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, college credits earned before high school graduation reduce the average time to degree and increase the likelihood of graduation. For parents, it’s an opportunity to reduce future college expenses by shortening the time to college graduation.

Germanna has partnered with area school systems to offer Early College programs.

The donors turned Quarles Petroleum, acquired by Quarles’ parents, Douglas Earle Quarles and Gladys Taylor Quarles, in 1940, into a regional business serving the area’s fuel needs.

Kitty Wafle, their daughter, said the Fredericksburg region and education were both vital to her parents.

“They loved the Fredericksburg area,” she said. “They had a good life here and believed in giving back to the area that was their home. Supporting the Early College program is another way to remember the community that was so important to them.”

“We are grateful for this fabulous gift,” said Bruce L. Davis, Germanna Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the college’s foundation. “It will help our Early College students graduate with associate degrees at the same time as they earn their high school diplomas. These students then can attend a four-year school if they want to start as a junior and save thousands in tuition and related college expenses.”

Douglas Earle Quarles, Jr. took leave from the family business to enroll as a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute. His class at VMI enlisted during World War II and he served in the 14th Armored Division in Europe.

After the war, he continued his education at the University of Virginia. After graduating from the McIntire School of Commerce, Doug reentered the family business. He settled in Fredericksburg, where he spent the remainder of his working life leading Quarles Petroleum.

Kathryn “Kitty” Maddux Quarles graduated from Stuart Hall School in Staunton, where she served on their board for many years and received their Distinguished Alumni Award. She also graduated from Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. She was a lifelong learner whose interests included genealogy.

According to Germanna’s President, Janet Gullickson, “The Quarles family has always been respected for their business and civic leadership. It is humbling that they chose to help those who need it most: the student in need of a helping hand to get to college.”

Douglas Earle Quarles, Jr., 95, died March 11, 2019. Kathryn “Kitty” Maddux Quarles, 89, died on December 30, 2018.

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