The legacy of the late son of a Western Carolina University alumna and her husband lives on, thanks to an endowed scholarship fund the Greensboro couple established to honor their child’s love for learning. Rebecca Heafner Schlosser ’73 and Michael Schlosser (left) recently made gifts totaling $100,000 to create the David E.W. Schlosser Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide support to students with demonstrated financial need in WCU’s Honors College.
David Schlosser died unexpectedly in 2011, nine days after graduating from Elon University. “Life doesn’t always turn out exactly the way you planned, but this will give us the opportunity to enjoy helping other students succeed and pursue their academic dreams,” Rebecca Schlosser said. “This will honor our son’s relentless ambition, zeal for learning, pursuit of creative ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and love of tutoring others, especially those who are less fortunate.”
The endowed fund will provide scholarship assistance annually to a student in WCU’s Honors College, a residential academic community of more than 1,400 high-achieving students. Honors College Dean Jill Granger said the gift will strengthen the college’s programs and reputation by helping recruit high-achieving students across North Carolina to WCU.
“With this gift, they are lifting up our Western Carolina students, providing needed access that will afford bright young people with infinite potential and talents the opportunity to learn and live in this community of scholars,” Granger said. “Rebecca and Michael realize how great our need is for additional scholarships in attracting and retaining some of North Carolina’s best students to Western. With this scholarship endowment, we can be confident that it will help students who want to come to WCU make that dream a reality, now and well into the future.”
The fund established by the Schlossers is among the latest in a series of new endowed scholarships created at WCU since the installation of David O. Belcher as chancellor in March 2012. During his installation address, Belcher identified raising funds for endowed scholarships as the top philanthropic priority for WCU. Through endowments of at least $25,000, scholarship assistance can be awarded on an annual and ongoing basis. New endowed scholarship funds established between October 2015 and June 2016:
Lasher Family Endowed Athletic Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball team or men’s and women’s golf teams; donors represented by
Reese Lasher ’75 and Ernie Lasher ’77.
Russ and Marie Kimel Endowed Baseball Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball team; donor Jack Kimel ’92.
Coach Mutt DeGraffenreid ’77 MAEd ’80 Endowed Football Scholarship, for student-athletes on the football team; donors represented by
Pam DeGraffenreid ’80.
John and Dorothy Bell Endowed Scholarship, for in-state students pursuing degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences with demonstrated financial need; donor John L. Bell.
George E. and Ann G. Summers Endowed Scholarship, for first-generation college students from the eight westernmost counties of North Carolina with demonstrated financial need; donors George and Ann Summers.
Michael and Elizabeth Gillespie Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in graphic design, visual arts or performing arts; donors Michael Gillespie ’86 and Elizabeth Gillespie.
Dr. Frances Owl-Smith Endowed Scholarship, for first-generation students from the eight westernmost counties of North Carolina majoring in the health sciences; donor Frances Owl-Smith ’83.
Lonnie and Nellie Benge Memorial Honors College Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students with demonstrated financial need; donors
Mark Benge ’86 and Kelly Benge.
Steve White Family Endowed Athletic Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball team; donors Steve White ’67 and Elaine White MAEd ’73.
Dr. John Franklyn Jacobs Endowed Graduate Student Scholarship, for graduate students in the College of Education and Allied Professions’ K-12 education track, with preference given to special or inclusive education graduate students; donor Jacqueline Jacobs.
Sweat/McGuire Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students; donors Jeanne and Patrick McGuire.
Bill and Sharon Hathaway Endowed Scholarship, for students majoring in nursing or computer science with demonstrated financial need; donors
Bill Hathaway ’85 and Sharon Hathaway ’86.
Lee C. Phoenix ’40 Memorial Honors College Endowed Scholarship, for Honors College students studying in the School of Teaching and Learning with demonstrated financial need; donor Margaret Agee.
Joe D. and Judith R. Clark Endowed Scholarship, for students with demonstrated financial need; donors Joe D. Clark ’64 and Judith R. Clark ’68.
Reeser Family Athletics Endowed Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball team; donor Rosina B. Reeser.
Dr. Patricia Murray Morse Endowed Fellowship, for students enrolled in the Master of Social Work Program; donor Edward V. Morse.
Kinney Family Endowed Scholarship, for students from North Carolina or Georgia with demonstrated financial need and a declared major in either middle grades science education, secondary science education, emergency medical care or political science; donor Bryant Kinney ’82.
Thomas W. Ross Endowed Scholarship, for students with demonstrated financial need; donors represented by William M. “Bill” Ross ’70.
Gaither M. Keener Endowed Baseball Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball team; donor Gaither M. Keener ’72.
Shelco LLC Endowed Scholarship, for rising juniors or seniors from North Carolina pursuing a degree in construction management; donor Shelco LLC, represented by Howard Peabody ’73.
Ambassador Jeanette W. Hyde Study Abroad Scholarship, for undergraduate students enrolled in at least one course with honors designation;
donor Jeanette W. Hyde.
Willie L. Carpenter Endowed Athletic Scholarship, for student-athletes on the baseball or football teams; donor Willie L. Carpenter ’80.
Sandra Jayne McCracken Endowed Scholarship, for undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.0; donor Sandra McCracken ’65.
James and June Causby Athletic Scholarship, for student-athletes pursuing an undergraduate degree in the College of Education and Allied Professions; donors James F. Causby ’67 MAEd ’69 and June R. Causby ’69.
Board of Visitors Endowed Scholarship, for students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrated financial need; donors WCU Board of Visitors.
Catamounts Paying It Forward Endowed Scholarship, for students who have completed 30 hours of coursework or are of sophomore standing with demonstrated financial need; donors Western Carolina University student body, represented by the Student Government Association Executive Committee.
Ted M. and Jackie Bollinger Yoder Endowed Scholarship, for students in the School of Stage and Screen with preference given to those majoring in musical theatre with demonstrated financial need; donors Ted M. Yoder ’76 and Jackie Bollinger Yoder.
Another recently established fund, the Dixon Hughes Goodman Accountancy Program Endowment, will provide support for students studying accountancy (see related story on Page 12 ).
For information on how to establish an endowed scholarship, visit the website give.wcu.edu.