Pictured left to right: Deputy Sheriff Joey Cone, Mr. C. J. Burney, Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey, and District Attorney’s Office Investigator Brett Holmes.

HANCEVILLE, Ala.—Wallace State Community College in Hanceville has established new scholarships for students majoring in criminal justice and nursing through a contribution from Mr. C.J. Burney and the estate of Agnes Johnston Burney to the college’s Future Foundation.

The Gerry Burney and Agnes Johnston Burney Memorial Scholarships are named in memory of Mr. Burney’s wife, Agnes, and their son, Gerry.

Gerry Burney was murdered in his driveway in 1998. Agnes Burney, an FBI employee under J. Edgar Hoover during World War II, received adoring care from several nurses during her long battle with diabetes before she passed away in 2005.

Joining Mr. Burney for the scholarship donation were Lt. Joey Cone, the deputy sheriff who was first on the scene at his son’s shooting and probably the last person to talk to him before he died, and Brett Holmes, an investigator in the District Attorney’s office who has become acquainted with the case more recently.

Mr. Burney thanked Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Hawsey for her leadership and said, “This is the best two-year college in the state. Students leave here prepared for productive futures and great service. I wanted to help people like Joey and Brett, who are my friends, and others like them who made a difference to our family.”

The $6,000 scholarship contribution made possible by Mr. Burney and the estate of Agnes Johnston Burney will be added to the college’s Perfect Match Endowment Fund, which will provide an additional $6,000 in matching funds. The Future Foundation plans to endow the scholarships at the $25,000 level.

“Thank you for choosing Wallace State to advance the memory of your son and your wife and to make possible the education of others,” said Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey to Mr. Burney at the acceptance of his donation.

“Contributing to someone’s education is analogous to creating a ripple in a pond that extends to infinity. It is a gift that can change not the only scholarship recipient’s life, but also has the very real potential to impact his or her family for generations to come,” she said.

Mr. Burney, a World War II veteran who served at the Battle of Iwo Jima, will be among those featured in Wallace State’s Veterans Day digital photo exhibition online at beginning on Nov. 5, and also shown on the digital message board at the front of campus.

For more information about the Gerry Burney and Agnes Johnston Burney Memorial Scholarships and other scholarship opportunities available through the Wallace State Future Foundation, visit

Gerry Burney.jpg
The late Gerry Burney, son of C.J. and Agnes Burney

Agnes Burney.jpg
The late Agnes Burney, wife of C. J. Burney


Kristen Holmes
Director, Communications & Marketing
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
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256-352-8314 fax 256-339-2519 cell
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