Rowan-Cabarrus celebrates scholarship recipients

  • Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:01 a.m.
Scholarship winners at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College celebrate.
Scholarship winners at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College celebrate.

Nearly 300 guests and scholarship recipients gathered to celebrate the success of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College scholarship recipients on Feb. 15. During the one-hour luncheon, several students shared inspiring stories about their lives and educational journeys at RCCC. Scholarship recipients thanked their contributors during the luncheon, and many guests learned about the foundation’s capacity to assist students through scholarships and emergency funding.

Scholarship recipients Ahmed Johnson, Meagan Lentz and Douglas Gold shared their stories, emphasizing that many RCCC students are simply working to make a better life for themselves through education.

“I can’t explain how moving it was to hear from these scholarship recipients,” said Diane Honeycutt, chair of the RCCC Foundation. “These students are the reason Rowan-Cabarrus faculty and staff go to work every day and seek to continuously improve their facilities, programs and services. Rowan-Cabarrus students are truly inspiring.”

Johnson, emergency medical technician (EMT) student, said that he never would have believed he’d be in the medical field when he was in high school. Lentz, a nursing student, expressed appreciation for the emergency support she received for her textbooks to ensure she could pursue her dream of helping others. Gold, a business student, was able to reinvent himself with the help of his scholarship.

“We support students from all walks of life,” said Celeste Gruner, director of the foundation. “Many of our scholarship recipients thought the word ‘scholarship’ meant funds reserved for high grade point averages. The RCCC Foundation awards scholarships based on need and the desire to achieve.”

In total, the RCCC Foundation raised more than $72,000 at the Changing Lives Scholarship Luncheon to support new and existing scholarships and student emergency needs. Additionally, the college is in the process of sending reminders to approximately 50 more guests who pledged to support the college’s efforts.

“Through all of this economic uncertainty, I believe there is hope,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The college is committed to the future of our region and its citizens. I believe that education is the compass to navigate forward. Our region’s potential is too important to leave to chance. We must align strategic investments and resources to ensure that we influence and mold a future that provides hope and opportunity for our citizens.”

The college rotates this event annually between Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Special thanks go to the 2013 table hosts and to Katrina King and Pat Horton for co-chairing the Changing Lives Scholarship Luncheon and to Rowan Regional Medical Center for their sponsorship of the luncheon.

The RCCC Foundation has a 25 member Board of Directors, 13 committees, and more than 80 volunteers. The RCCC Foundation provides funding for: student assistance (scholarships, emergency funding and books); institutional enhancement (capital improvements, equipment, program, and curriculum support); faculty/staff incentive grants and continuing education; new program development.

In the face of state budget cuts, community colleges across the country now realize that they must court private donors — individual and corporate — to help cover scholarships and support expensive programs. The notion of private philanthropic support is becoming ever more important for RCCC.

“By and large, our students live, work, raise their families, and expend their incomes in our region,” said Jeanie Moore, vice president of advancement and continuing education. “An investment in Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is an investment in your neighbors and your community.”

For more information, please contact Foundation Director Celeste Gruner (704-216-3459) or visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). Those interested in applying for scholarships can visit

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