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Greensboro couple establishes academic scholarship at Catawba College

A new academic scholarship has been established at Catawba College by a Greensboro couple who are graduates of the institution. The Kelly-Cline Family Endowed Scholarship was funded with a gift from Ned and Linda Kelly Cline of Greensboro, members of the Class of 1964.

Preference for the scholarship will be given to North Carolina students majoring in the humanities, with additional preference given to political science, English and history majors who demonstrate financial need.

The scholarship is given in memory of Linda’s parents, Max and Jessie Kelly of Salisbury, both respected citizens of their community who appreciated and admired the many positive aspects of Catawba.

“The Clines are a wonderful example of a couple who met at the institution and have remained connected to it through the years,” said Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress. “They know how important scholarships are in helping the most deserving students achieve their goal of obtaining a college education. Their gift assures that future generations of students will have the opportunity for their own Catawba experience.”

“We are pleased to be able to give back to our alma mater in this way,” Ned Cline explained. “Catawba has been so much a part of our lives. The friendships we have established there have endured through the years and added value to our lives and successes.”

Cline recalled several Catawba faculty members who greatly influenced him during his undergraduate years.

“I had many uplifting professors there, but two who stand out as especially beneficial and inspiring were Peter Cooper and Greg Singer, both quite different in style and philosophy, but both equally challenging.”

A native of Cabarrus County, Cline majored in political science at Catawba. He had a long career as a journalist until he retired in 1997.

In the 1960s, he was a reporter for the Concord Tribune and the Salisbury Post. At the Post, he covered the Ku Klux Klan and other civil rights issues.

He was a reporter for the Greensboro Daily News and for the Charlotte Observer during the 1970s, focusing on political reporting and public policies. He became a top editor at the Greensboro Daily News. He then was Raleigh bureau chief for The Charlotte Observer before returning to Greensboro in 1979 as managing editor. He remained there until his retirement as associate editor in 1997.

During his career, he received numerous awards from the N.C. Press Association, and the recognition resulted in a year of study at the Washington Journalism Center. He also was awarded a year-long fellowship at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow, one of the most prestigious honors for an American journalist.

Since his retirement, he has researched and published three biographies of worthy N.C. philanthropists and is in the process of completing a fourth. He also has published a history on one of the first two Lutheran churches in North Carolina, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cabarrus County, and has written for two North Carolina monthly magazines.

He teaches a newspaper-editing course in the English department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro each spring and works as a part-time consultant in public relations and fundraising for an educational program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cline received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Catawba during graduation exercises in May 2006 in recognition of his long and productive journalism career. At that time, Catawba College President Dr. Robert Knott said, “Through your biographies and histories, you have preserved a portion of the past, and through your teaching, you have worked to pass along your experience to a new generation.”

Linda Kelly Cline, a native of Sanford who grew up in Salisbury, majored in secretarial science at Catawba. She has worked in marketing and volunteer projects and has been active in her church and community projects in Greensboro.

“My years at Catawba were enlightening and rewarding,” she said. “I remember fondly the classes of Professor Millard Wilson and the life’s lessons he provided students.

“We were both also very fond and appreciative of the campus pastor, Porter Seiwell. He was always so supportive of students and, in fact, he is the reason Ned and I chose to be married in the Catawba College chapel. We wanted him to be part of our wedding.”

The Clines have two adult children, Jeff Cline and Christy Gannon, and two grandchildren, Kelly and Michael Gannon.

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