Education briefs: $2 million Gift to Catawba College to be used for high-achieving, lower-income eligible students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 11, 2021

SALISBURY — Catawba College has received an anonymous gift of $2 million to support first-year students entering Catawba for the fall 2021 semester.

The scholarships are designated for lower-income students who achieve high academic high school performances.

The Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship is intentionally designed to make a four-year residential Catawba College experience possible for every student entering in the 2021-22 academic year, according to Jared Tice, senior vice president for the college experience and dean of students.

Tice said that the scholarship is aptly named “as we are providing a real opportunity to qualifying students to have a residential Catawba experience, but who can often not afford the additional cost of living on campus.”

“The scholarship strengthens our promise and commitment to be a College and community of learners grounded in access, affordability, and personal attention,” Tice said.
Each eligible student will receive the Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship in addition to their academic merit scholarship award and any federal and state financial aid. The scholarship is renewable all four years, provided the student continues to be academically and need-eligible and resides on campus.

Catawba is still currently admitting students for the fall 2021 semester through its easy test score-optional application and through the Common App. Additionally, to determine if a student is eligible for the Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship, each student is required to submit their Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) to Catawba College using the College’s FAFSA code 002914.  

Annually, Catawba awards over $3.5 million to support over 500 students from the college’s endowment and gifted scholarships, according to Kelli Hand, director of financial aid. Nearly half of the student population is supported by these funds. Departmental scholarships are also available in environment, business, computer science, English, history, teacher education and other departments.

“Providing educational opportunities so students can pursue meaningful life and work is at the heart of Catawba College,” Catawba President David Nelson said. “These scholarships will make the promise of such an education a reality.”

Tice called the donor gift “amazing” and said it mitigates the financial barrier of college for many prospective students and families enrolling this fall. It provides a strong financial aid pathway for every qualifying prospective student to have the ability to benefit from the wonderful impact of residential living and learning at Catawba College this fall. Combined with earned merit-based scholarships, full participation in federal and state aid programs and any additional Catawba grants and scholarships, students who qualify will see no to very limited out-of-pocket expenses due to this new scholarship program. 

“This scholarship program hits at the heart of our work by providing access to students and making affordable the residential Catawba experience to our prospective students and families who deservingly need it most,” Tice said. “By doing so, we embody the mission and values of the college through this new scholarship offering to best serve our students and broader community — and in particular — the Central Piedmont area of North Carolina where we continue to draw the majority of our new students.”

Livingstone College, NC Transportation Museum present Green Book events

SALISBURY — In observance of Black History Month, Livingstone College and the North Carolina Transportation Museum will jointly present two evenings of free community programming around the “The Negro Motorist Green Book.”

Join a virtual screening of the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom” February 22, 2021 at 6:30 p.m., on the NC Transportation Museum’s YouTube and Facebook page, as well as on the museum’s website.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, tune in at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of conversation among community leaders who will depict travel during the Jim Crow era in a discussion entitled, “The Green Book: NC Travels Down Memory Lane,” presented via Zoom, and on the NC Transportation Museum’s YouTube and Facebook page. To learn more about and register for both of these free events, visit

The virtual discussion, “NC Travels Down Memory Lane,” will begin with an overview of The Green Book’s contribution to Americans by Angela Thorpe, director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission. Presenters include: State Alexander, executive assistant to the President and Vice President for Communications and Public Relations at Livingstone College; Surluta B. Anthony, Monroe, NC Town Councilwoman, community activist and child advocate; Mary Ponds, retired educator who was the first woman and first African-American Mayor of Granite Quarry, a predominately white community that has strong historical ties to the Ku Klux Klan; and Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church leader, who is currently serving as  president of the North Carolina NAACP. Da’Tarvia Parrish, chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Livingstone College, will guide the evening’s conversation as the moderator.

“The Negro Motorist Green Book,” originated and published by Victor Hugo Green between 1936-1966, helped African Americans move through segregated and hostile spaces during the Jim Crow era. The publication directed Black travelers to safe “oasis spaces” as they visited family, conducted business, followed job opportunities, or vacationed. A guide and resistance tool, “The Green Book” reveals a crucial network that allowed African American communities to survive during a turbulent period in North Carolina, and America.

The exhibit “Navigating Jim Crow: The Green Book and Oasis Spaces in North Carolina” is currently on display through March 14 at the NC Transportation Museum, located at 1 Samuel  Spencer Drive; just five minutes off I-85 at Exit 79 in Spencer, NC, and about an hour from Charlotte, Greensboro or Winston-Salem. To plan a visit, call (704) 636- 2889 or visit

North Hills Christian School brings science labs to the classroom

North Hills Christian School’s eighth grade students are gaining hands-on experience as they dissect frogs in their Life Science classes this week.

Ashley Grubb, middle school science teacher, believes in experiential learning. Her students have studied metamorphosis and hatched butterflies; they are currently studying cold-blooded vertebrae; and they will be moving on to warm-blooded vertebrae next week, which will include the hatching of chicks from an incubator.

“This is a fun way for them to gain a deeper understanding of cold-blooded vertebrae,” Grubb said. “Since we are staying in our classrooms to eliminate cross-contamination on campus, we are unable to use the science lab, but it was important to me that students didn’t miss out on science labs, so we brought the lab to the classroom.”

Classes and class transitions look a little different for middle schoolers this year because of safety precautions in place due to COVID-19. Precautions include wearing masks, frequent cleaning, and limiting students’ movement from class to class and rotating teachers instead, when possible. Because of this, some classrooms are off-limits to certain students and teachers – this includes the science lab because it is now home to high school science classes.

“My favorite thing about the dissection lab was being able to look at the whole frog and see different organs and how they were all connected,” eighth grader Ava Kibler said.

“Because things are so different this year, I wanted to give them the opportunity to do something that we would normally do in a non-COVID-19 year. It was fun to see them engaged, interested, and asking so many questions,” Grubb said.