Students thank scholarship benefactors during annual Scholarship Dinner on Sept. 13

On Sept. 13, students, faculty, staff, and scholarship benefactors gathered in Evans Auditorium in the Cannon Student Center for an evening of appreciation.

The annual Scholarship Dinner was a night to thank not only students for their continued hard work and dedication, but also benefactors that make several college scholarships possible for those students.

President Lee King shared a few remarks before opening the podium to a speech from President of Order of the Tower Maggie Thomas ’19 and a performance by scholarship recipients Alice Gomez ’20 and Taylor Knoll ’21 of “Some Things Are Meant to Be” from Little Women.  

“Benjamin Franklin said, ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest,’” King said. “Tonight we are celebrating the investments that many individuals have made in the lives of our students here at Lees-McRae and I as the new president want to give you my sincere thanks and appreciation for making that investment in our students.”

Nursing major and recipient of the Hart Scholarship—a bi-annual scholarship awarding full tuition—Thomas shared a story about her first experience at the college.

“Do you remember the first time you stepped foot here on campus at Lees-McRae?” Thomas asked.  “Maybe it was on your first day as a student. Maybe it was with your family attending one of our community events, or maybe it was with your best friend as you drove through on a spur of the moment trip.”

“I remember my first time on campus,” she added. “It was a beautiful day in November, 2014. It was 38 degrees with a light freezing rain.”

When we all think of Lees-McRae, Thomas explained, we all have a picture in mind. Perhaps it is of the Blue Ridge Parkway, skiing Beech Mountain Ski Resort, or hiking through trails lined with rhododendron. Thomas said that even though everyone’s image of Lees-McRae is unique, she hoped they would also see a place full of open doors, possibilities, hopes, and dreams.

“When you step on campus it's as if the door of opportunity is open and all that's left to do is walk through,” she added. “It's through donors and supporters of the college like so many of you who are joined here tonight that the door of opportunity remains open for all of us students. Through your support students continue to make their future dreams a reality here at Lees-McRae.”

Generosity of the donors enables the college to award approximately $500,000 each year in endowed and restricted scholarships.

By Nina MastandreaSeptember 21, 2018