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Honors College announces $100,000 endowment

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Alumnus and Local Scholarship Coordinator W. Richard Cobb Sr., Grace Viverette from Northern Nash, Dean of the College David M. White and Josh Butler from Faith Christian School, left to right, stand at the recent ECU Honors College Convocation.

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From Contributed Reports

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Alumni and friends of East Carolina University in Rocky Mount and Nash County, in partnership with the ECU Honors College, have announced through current donations and pledges an initial $100,000 endowment to the university.

The Rocky Mount – Nash Honors College Scholarship and Enrichment Fund is a merit-based award that can used for any field of study. Local scholars are evaluated on academic achievement, leadership, community engagement and character. All public and private students are eligible if they attend a Rocky Mount-Nash-based school or are home-schooled if they live within the geographic boundary. The Honors College handles the admissions and selection process.

“This initiative taken by local alumni is a unique model and one we hope to duplicate in other locales now as we grow our Honors program,’’ Dean David M. White said.

The school was started just seven years ago, but has grown to 500 students with plans to house 800 by 2019. Those admitted are awarded scholarships that cover the cost of in-state tuition for four years. ECU is the only Honors College in the 16-campus UNC system that provides this kind of financial support.

“It allows us to compete for the best and brightest as other universities are recruiting these same scholars, too,” White said.

White cited another incentive being ECU has Early Assurance opportunities for entry in to the schools of Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Audiology, Nursing and The College of Business.

The college is located in the historic Mamie Jenkins Building in the center of campus. It features a student library and study rooms, offices, seminar classroom and an art gallery featuring student and faculty work. Here students can network as part of a vibrant impact-oriented group. All Honors Freshmen stay in the new state-of-the-art residence complex – Gateway Hall – as part of a living-learning community.

Local scholarship coordinator and alumnus, W. Richard Cobb Sr., said that supporters want to make a positive difference in the lives of area young people and the community. This program rewards and supports our own top students – not those from Raleigh or Charlotte; it will help keep quality students in Eastern North Carolina and return them as our future leaders, and will become a source of pride as the principal grows and scholarship recipients are recognized annually.

Seven area students will be supported this academic year. Three seniors: Lauren Lewis (Music), Southern Nash; Julia Skinner, (Speech Therapy), Rocky Mount  High; and Jessica Rogers (Theater Arts), Nash Central. One junior: Josh Butler (Engineering & Pre-Med), Faith Christian. One sophomore: Kayla Neal (Nursing), Rocky Mount High. Two freshmen: Kimberly Smith, (Music), Southern Nash; and Grace Viverette (Physics), Northern Nash.

“Initial funds will be used to assist in the purchase of textbooks. Textbooks can be very, very expensive, especially in certain majors so the kids are extremely grateful,” White said.

“With early responses from a large alumni base, friends and the business community, the roots for this endowment are firmly planted. We believe the upside is bright as many people are just learning about this opportunity,” ECU Honors College Advancement Officer Nate Evans said.

For more information or to make a pledge or gift, contact Evans at evansna@ecu.edu or Cobb at wcobb7052@suddenlink.net.

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