RCCC announces $375,000 in endowment gifts, 13 new scholarships

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, May 3, 2022

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College announced a slew of new scholarships funded through endowment contributions on Monday.

The Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation has added 13 new scholarships from $375,000 in contributions. Ten of the scholarships were named as part of a donor event in April.

Eight of the scholarships are funded via $15,000 contributions with the exception of the Daniel Hemric “Be the Change” scholarship funded via a $25,000 gift and the Lillian C. Peeler Memorial Scholarship of the Salisbury Woman’s Club funded via a $50,000 contribution.

The endowment funds will be invested via the Foundation for the Carolinas. RCCC Chief Officer of Governance, Advancement and Community Relations Sarah Devlin said the college expects to generate $850-$1,000 every year each $15,000 invested to support scholarships.

“We make every investment count,” Devlin said. “When our donors make a decision to contribute to the Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation, that gift has a lasting impact. Each contribution changes the life of a student and, in turn, that student’s family and our community.”

Devlin said these gifts are exceptional for two reasons: The college has not been able to hold its regular scholarship fundraiser luncheon to generate donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in a typical year there would normally only be two to three new endowments announced at each luncheon.

“This luncheon covered the past two years, but still you might typically see $45,000-$60,000 a year,” Devlin said.

Devlin said the three scholarships that make up the remaining The contributions will be announced at a later event.

These are the 10 scholarships announced so far:

• The Ashley C. and Michael P. Fischer Endowed Scholarship: Cabarrus County natives, the Fischers are committed to supporting local students in their pursuit of educational and professional growth and created this endowment to expand access to opportunity and strengthen the local workforce. Ashley’s mother, Sue Cunningham, was an accounting instructor at RCCC for more than 30 years. Michael is a current Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation board member.

• The Austin G. Beverly Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Beverly developed a passion for the medical field and developed strong friendships as a student in the Rowan-Cabarrus radiography program. After his death in November 2019, his classmates established this scholarship to continue his legacy and provide hope and opportunity to future radiography students.

• The Daniel Hemric “Be the Change” Scholarship: NASCAR driver Daniel Hemric and his wife, Kenzie, established this scholarship to provide assistance each year to a student pursuing a career in motorsports, welding or mechanical engineering.

• The Harold C. Earnhardt Memorial Endowed Scholarship: The family Earnhardt established this scholarship to honor his memory and ensure deserving students can follow their dreams through educational excellence. Earnhardt, a graduate of Duke University, served in the U.S. Air Force and was co-owner of Earnhardt Lumber and Trucking Company. He held a lifelong passion for education and served on the board of the college foundation.

• Lillian C. Peeler Memorial Scholarship of The Salisbury Woman’s Club: The Salisbury Woman’s Club, formed in 1923 by four federated book clubs, gave girls’ scholarships to local institutions during its early years, in addition to sponsoring poetry lectures and music concerts. The club is still in existence today with the mission of uniting women in Salisbury for the promotion of intellectual, philanthropic, civic, cultural and social betterment of the community.

• The M.R. “Locke” and Cathy C. Floyd Endowed Scholarship: M.R. “Locke” Floyd, a retired U.S. Airways aviator who also served in the U.S. Air Force, and Cathy Floyd, who held faculty appointments in nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina, Texas Woman’s University, the University of Memphis, and UNC Charlotte, believe that community college scholarships offer a great return on investment in people and the community.

• The Maria Hall Emergency Assistance Endowed Scholarship: Hall was a career services counselor at RCCC for many years and believed in second, third and fourth chances to help people strive to be their best. This scholarship was created to continue her legacy of compassion and care.

• The Ray and Lois Paradowski Family Endowed Scholarship: Ray and Lois Paradowski moved to Salisbury in 1983 because of Ray’s employment transfer with the National Starch and Chemical Company. Ray served as chair of the RCCC Board of Trustees for many years, providing leadership in building and renovating the South Campus and Cabarrus Business and Technology Center in Concord. This scholarship will provide financial support for students pursuing engineering-related fields of study.

• The Sonny Dale Haigler Memorial Scholarship: Haigler was a graduate of RCCC, receiving his associate in applied science in information systems degree in 1999. Longtime employer Rodgers Builders established the scholarship in his memory.

• The Sue McCoy Cunningham Endowed Scholarship: Cunningham taught accounting and business administration at the college for more than 30 years and told her family that she would like to celebrate her retirement with an endowed scholarship for an accounting student rather than a trip or a party. She was named teacher of the year twice, served on campus committees, as an academic and club adviser and as president of the faculty association at RCCC.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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