When Wesley R. “Wes” Elingburg ’78 saw the cover story in the spring 2013 edition of The Magazine of Western Carolina revealing that only 7 percent of Western Carolina students receive scholarships from the university, he was moved to take action. A former executive with Laboratory Corporation of America in Burlington, Elingburg recently made a $300,000 commitment that will provide significant scholarship support to students enrolled in WCU’s Honors College who have demonstrated financial need.
“That article in the university magazine detailing the lack of scholarship funding is really what convinced me that I needed to do more to help,” Elingburg said. “I remember reading that story and thinking that when the time comes for me to make my next contribution to the university, I now know what I need to do.”
What he decided to do was begin to make a series of gifts to WCU to create the Elingburg Scholars Program. When the fund is fully endowed at the $300,000 level, it will provide three $5,000 scholarships annually for students in the Honors College.
“The primary purpose is to provide scholarship assistance to the best and the brightest kids who might not otherwise be able to go to college – kids who need financial support in order to attend Western Carolina University,” he said. “There are a lot of very bright students out there, and it’s a very competitive world for the best of the best. You want to be able to attract those students to come to your school. For a lot of them, the decision on where to go can come down to a matter of money.”
In that 2013 magazine story that inspired Elingburg to break out his checkbook, Brian Railsback, dean of the Honors College, described the difficulty of competing against other colleges and universities that are able to offer considerably more scholarship assistance to top students. “When we’re recruiting students, they visit campus and the Honors College and they really like what they see,” Railsback said then. “Then, other offers from other universities come in, and you can just sort of tell, some of them are not coming to Western.” Gifts from Elingburg and other supporters of WCU should help even that playing field.
Starting the Elingburg Scholars Program is just the latest in a legacy of gifts to WCU for the resident of Greensboro who is co-owner and managing partner of the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins baseball team. Since his graduation, he has contributed regularly to both the Loyalty Fund and the Catamount Club. In 2006, he provided a gift to the university that made possible the Wesley R. Elingburg Distinguished Professorship in Business Innovation, which brings a nationally recognized expert to campus to teach in WCU’s College of Business. Three years later, he took the lead in a matching gift program for the Loyalty Fund by offering to match gifts over a one-year period, an effort that brought in about $118,000 in new support for scholarships and other initiatives.
“I am a big believer in giving back to the people and the institutions that have provided me with my foundation in life,” Elingburg said. “There is no better feeling in the world than helping those who have helped you. I feel that I owe a great deal of gratitude to Western Carolina. Without the education and support I have received from the university and from the College of Business, I just don’t know where I would be today.”
Elingburg is among a growing number of alumni and friends who have responded to the call from WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher to provide additional scholarship support for deserving students. Belcher identified raising funds for endowed scholarships as the university’s No. 1 philanthropic priority, in order to ensure access to higher education for all capable students, during his installation address in March 2012.
Belcher announced in December at the closing activity of WCU’s yearlong 125th anniversary celebration that the university had reached the milestone of 100 new endowed scholarships since that installation address. The endowments will provide scholarship assistance to deserving students that can be awarded on an annual basis in perpetuity. The WCU Board of Trustees in September approved a new minimum threshold of $25,000 for the creation of endowed funds.
A complete list of the first 100 endowed scholarships created since March 2012 follows:
David and Susan Belcher Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors David and Susan Belcher.
Brady Singleton and William Grady Anderson Endowed Scholarship, for graduates of Hiwassee Dam High School; donor William Grady Anderson ’49.
Elizabeth “Beth” Tyson Lofquist Endowed Scholarship, for students studying middle grades education; donor Beth Tyson Lofquist ’78 MAEd ’79 EdS ’88.
Center for Life Enrichment Honors College Scholars Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors from the Center for Life Enrichment.
Lt. Col. Elaine Howell Endowed Scholarship, for College of Fine and Performing Arts majors; donor Elaine Howell ’68.
Stephen and Cathy Edmonds Endowed Scholarship, for engineering students; donors Stephen and Cathy Edmonds.
David A. and Kay Slattery Shapiro Scholarship for Specialists in Fluency Disorders, for students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; donors David and Kay Shapiro.
Carolyn May West ’73 MAEd ’79 Scholarship, for middle grades education majors; donor Norman West ’68.
John H. Wakeley Endowed Scholarship, for psychology majors; donor Sue Wakeley.
Susan Riddle Higgins ’82 Endowed Scholarship, for accounting majors; donors Merrell Riddle MAEd ’73 EdS ’76 and Winston Riddle ’73.
Chad M. Flynt Endowed Scholarship, for sport management majors; donor Ken Flynt ’71.
Wolfe Endowed History Scholarship, for history majors; donors Frederick Wolfe ’85 and Buttercup Wolfe ’85.
James A. Lewis Endowed Scholarship, for history majors; donor James Lewis.
RICOH USA Inc. Endowed Scholarship, for students in professional sales and marketing or computer information systems; donor RICOH USA.
WCU Sport Management Association Endowed Scholarship, for sport management majors; donors from the WCU Sport Management Association.
Steven C. Jones ’87 MSA ’99 Endowed Scholarship, for inclusive education majors; donors Eva and Jacob Jones.
Dr. Janice H. Holt ’76 MAEd ’77 EdS ’87 EdD ’12 Endowed Scholarship, for students admitted to the WHEE Teach program; donors Adam Holt ’05 MSA ’10 and Robert Holt ’73.
Keener Family Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donor Gaither Keener ’72.
Curtis Wood Endowed Scholarship, for history majors; donor Gaither Keener ’72.
Norman West Endowed Scholarship, for student-athletes with declared majors in the College of Business; donor Norman West ’68.
Bowen-Goodell Endowed Scholarship, for out-of-state students who have completed a minimum of 30 hours at WCU involved in co-curricular leadership activities; donor Stephanie Goodell ’92.
Mickey and Sondra H. Pettus Alpha Xi Delta Endowed Scholarship, for students in the Epsilon Gamma chapter of Alpha Xi Delta sorority; donors Mickey Pettus ’74 and Sondra Pettus.
Roland Johnson Endowed Scholarship, for College of Business majors; donor Roland Johnson ’76.
Coach Bob Waters Football Walk-On Endowed Scholarship, for walk-on student-athletes of the intercollegiate football team; donor Dan Brooks ’76.
Construction Management Alumni Endowed Scholarship, for construction management majors; donors include construction management alumni.
John Davies ’71 Memorial Football Endowed Scholarship, for members of the intercollegiate football team; donor Bill Klugh ’72.
Clarence Claude Teagarden Jr. Endowed Scholarship, for business administration and law majors; donors from the College of Business.
Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship, for accounting, finance, information systems or economics majors; donor Wells Fargo.
Kenneth M. Hughes/Dixon Hughes Goodman Endowed Scholarship, for accounting majors; donor Ken Hughes ’74.
Bernice Lloyd and Nancy Potts Coward MAEd ’57 Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors Carolyn and Orville Coward Jr.
Kathleen Wright Endowed Scholarship, for communication majors; donor Don Connelly.
McCracken Family Scholarship, for Honors College students; donor Sandra Jayne McCracken ’65.
Rocky Johnson Endowed Scholarship, for students with majors in the College of Business; donor Rocky Johnson ’66.
Paul and Nora Jones Endowed Athletic Scholarship, for members of the track-and-field team; donors Paul Jones ’69 MAEd ’70 and Nora Jones MAEd ’86.
John and Anna McFadden Endowed Scholarship, for secondary education majors; donors Jack and Anna McFadden.
Paul and Vicky Faris Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors Paul Faris ’66 and Vicky Faris ’66.
Mark L. and Grace T. Battle Endowed Scholarship, for students pursuing a degree in engineering or business; donors Mark and Grace Battle.
Sondra Wise Endowed Scholarship, for students pursuing a degree in comprehensive science education with a concentration in earth sciences or physics; donor Sondra Wise ’66.
Edith Moore Hall and David McKee Hall Sr. Scholarship, for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in recreational therapy or a physical therapy doctorate; donor Robert Hall ’44.
Curtis and Enid Meltzer Endowed Scholarship, for students pursing an undergraduate degree in the College of Arts and Sciences; donors Curtis and Enid Meltzer.
Schmudde Family Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in hospitality and tourism management; donors Lee and Mariann Schmudde.
Olson Family Scholarship, for students with a 3.0 or higher GPA; donors Richard and Rebecca Olson MS ’89.
Alecia Page Endowed Scholarship, for students who work at the Writing and Learning Center or are members of the Student Government Association; donors represented by Alecia Page ’13.
Thomas M. and Judy H. Dowell Endowed Scholarship, for members of an intercollegiate athletics sports team; donors Tom Dowell MAEd ’70 and Judy Dowell.
Ramon Menze Endowed Scholarship, for upper-level students in the fine and performing arts who have a focus in photography; donor Ramon Albert Menze.
Betty Jo and Mark A. Knott Endowed Scholarship, for inclusive education majors; donors Betty Jo Knott and Tony Knott ’69 MAEd ’70.
Gurney and Ann Chambers Scholarship, for junior or senior student-athletes enrolled in a teacher licensing program; donors Gurney Chambers ’61 and Ann Chambers.
Linda and Alden McCracken Endowed Scholarship, for members of an intercollegiate sports team; donor Alden McCracken ’58.
Hedy White Endowed Scholarship, for psychology majors; donor Carol Taylor.
Bob and Pam Thomas Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students in business or engineering; donors Bob Thomas ’70 and Pam Thomas.
Wallace Hyde ’49 MAEd ’53 Academic Scholarship Fund, for Honors College students; donor James “Jim” Bennett ’89.
Friends of the Arts Endowed Scholarship Fund, for students majoring in the arts; donors from Friends of the Arts at WCU.
Sigma Phi Epsilon North Carolina Phi Endowed Scholarship, for members of Sigma Phi Epsilon North Carolina Phi; donors from Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
Mary Alice Gambill Shuford and David Shuford Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in English; donors Mary Alice Gambill Shuford ’56 and David F. Shuford ’55 MAEd ’59.
Sharon Dole Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship, for graduate students with majors in gifted, creative and innovative education; donor Sharon Dole.
Guy Burchfiel ’50 MA ’54 and Jo Edith Burchfiel Endowed Scholarship, for students in the doctoral program in educational leadership; donor Jo Edith Burchfiel ’51 MAEd ’54.
Claxton Family Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in health and physical education; donors David and Mae Claxton.
Teach for Tomorrow Endowed Scholarship, for juniors and seniors pursuing degrees in middle grades education, donors David Warlick ’76 and Brenda Warlick ’76.
Moss Family Scholarship, for students demonstrating financial need with a minimum 3.0 GPA; donor Martha Yates.
Dr. Barbara Cosper Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in dietetics and nutrition; donors represented by Susan Kosma ’98.
Jerry Johnson Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donor Jerry Johnson ’78.
Delta Zeta Endowed Scholarship, for members of Delta Zeta sorority; donors from Delta Zeta sorority.
C.J. Cody Jr. ’71 Memorial Track/Field/Cross Country Scholarship, for members of the track-and-field and/or cross-country teams; donors Brooke Roberts MAEd ’10 and Jason Roberts.
Beta Lambda Sorority Endowed Teaching Scholarship, for teaching education majors; donors represented by Vyanne Fisher ’02 MAEd ’09.
John S. and Frances D. Hudson Endowed Scholarship, for incoming freshmen who demonstrate involvement in their communities; donor Jack Hudson ’82.
Cassius A. Wallace 1894 and Lena S. Wallace 1893 Endowed Scholarship Fund, for students with a GPA of 3.0 or better; donor Winifred Swingle.
Van and Alan Stayton Football Scholarship, for student-athletes on the WCU football team; donors Van Stayton ’65 and Alan Stayton ’07.
Corey Muirhead ’06 Basketball Scholarship, for student-athletes on the men’s basketball team; donors Blaise Stevens ’05 and Brittne Stevens.
Arthur Anderson Endowed Scholarship, for students obtaining a degree in the performing arts; donor Arthur Anderson.
Dr. Mark and Katherine Whitehead Honors College Scholarship, for Honors College students planning to go to medical school or pre-nursing/nursing majors; donors Mark and Katherine Whitehead.
Joan Byrd Endowed Scholarship, for ceramics students; donors Susan Ward ’76 and Randall Ward.
Pediatric Developmental Therapy Endowed Scholarship Fund, for communication sciences and disorders majors; donor Haden Bolick MS ’94.
Lola and Samuel Cable Endowed Scholarship, for students with a minimum GPA of 3.0; donor Helen Cable ’53 MAEd ’55.
Frank and Rebecca Revis Brown Endowed Scholarship, for College of Business majors with preference for members of the Business Law Club; donors Frank and Becky Brown ’71.
Colleen McMillan Endowed Scholarship, for social work majors; donors Anne Bowers ’13, Tom Bowers and Barbara Manke.
Reagan Lee Hartley ’14 Endowed Scholarship, for elementary education majors; donors represented by Todd and Tabitha Hartley.
Chilton Family Endowed Scholarship, for chemistry or biology majors; donor Floyd “Ski” Chilton ’80.
Norman and Helen Moore Endowed Scholarship, for music education majors; donors Norman Moore and Helen Moore MHS ’04.
Jim and Sara Miller Endowed Scholarship, for students demonstrating financial need with a 3.5 or higher GPA; donors Jim and Tara Miller.
Jack and Judy Brinson Honors College Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors Jack and Judy Brinson.
Mickey and Sondra H. Pettus Endowed Football Scholarship, for members of WCU’s intercollegiate football team; donors Mickey Pettus ’74 and Sondra Pettus.
Joel Baxter Morris ’73 “Old Hippie” Endowed Scholarship, for students studying visual arts; donors represented by Norman West ’68.
Beverly Little Fund for Excellence in Teaching, for programmatic support of the Coulter Faculty Commons for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; donors Hollye K. Moss and John Huffman.
Steven Hodges Becker Endowed Scholarship, for environmental science majors; donors represented by Jean Becker.
Roy and Hazel Edwards Endowed Scholarship, for marching band members; donor Robert Edwards ’77.
Nancyann Failing R.N. Endowed Scholarship, for nursing majors, preference to Honors College students; donors Nancyann Failing and Bob Failing ’51.
Alison and Robert Shetlar Endowed Scholarship, for undergraduate students demonstrating financial need with a minimum 3.5 GPA who also are working adults returning to complete undergraduate degrees; donors Alison and Robert Shetlar.
Gail-Patricia Greer Endowed Scholarship, for students with a 3.0 or higher GPA with preference given to working adults who are returning to complete their degrees; donor Gail-Patricia Greer.
Hopkins and Ray FIRST Robotics Endowed Scholarship, for first-year students with participation in FIRST robotics competitions, preference given to students in the engineering and technology disciplines; donors Tina and Jeff Ray.
Rosemary Cameron Endowed Scholarship, for inclusive education majors; donors John Reid ’66 MAEd ’68 and Joanne Reid ’68.
James A. “Bill” Beaty Jr. Diversity Endowment, support for student diversity programs; donor James A. Beaty Jr. ’71.
Casey Davis ’06 Soccer Endowed Scholarship, for members of the women’s soccer team; donors Blaise Stevens ’05 and Brittne Stevens.
Lynne Zande Family Catamount Golf Scholarship, for members of the men’s and women’s golf teams; donors Tony Zande ’76 and Lynne Zande.
Teresa and Richard “Stick” Williams Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College members, with preference given to students from the eight westernmost N.C. counties demonstrating financial need, donors Teresa and Richard “Stick” Williams.
Timothy and Emily Campbell Endowed Scholarship, for students in the College of Business or pursuing an engineering-related degree, preference for children of Jackson Paper Manufacturing and their subsidiaries; donors from Jackson Paper Manufacturing.
Mitchell R. Crisp Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in accounting; donors Mitchell Crisp ’75 and DiAnne Crisp ’76 MAEd ’86.
Dietetic Internship Endowed Scholarship, for health sciences students enrolled in the dietetic internship program; donor Brenda Marques.
Wes Elingburg Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students demonstrating financial need; donor Wes Elingburg ’78.
Carolyn and Orville Coward Jr. Endowed Scholarship, for students from the eight westernmost N.C. counties; donors Carolyn and Orville Coward Jr.
Ernest Blanton Memorial Endowed Scholarship, for students demonstrating financial need with a GPA of 3.0 or higher; donors Pat Kaemmerling ’71 and David Kaemmerling.