About Agnes Cooke

The Agnes Cooke Memorial Scholarship honors a charter member of what was then called Virginia Press Women, which was founded in 1958. Today VPW is known as Virginia Professional Communicators. Agnes Cooke, who lived in Kinsale, Va., served as VPW president from 1964 to 1966. Described by the Kinsale Foundation as “an inveterate newshound and editor,” Agnes won an award for the photo she took (while clad in her nightgown and with cold cream on her face in the wee hours of the morning, as the story goes) of the tragic fire that claimed the historic Kinsale Methodist Church on Oct. 18, 1969. She was well known in the Northern Neck of Virginia for the columns she wrote and edited for 35 years chronicling the everyday events in her community in the Northern Neck News and the Northumberland Echo. In 1985, Agnes was honored by the Kinsale Foundation for “years of promoting and securing the well-being of the community.” Shortly after her death in 1991, VPW created the foundation that now administers the scholarships in her honor.