SALISBURY, N.C. – The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation celebrated new endowment scholarships and honored donors at a luncheon held April 1 at the Laureate Center in Kannapolis, N.C.

Overall, the Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation welcomed 13 new endowed scholarships totaling $375,000, with 10 of these announced at the luncheon and their donors recognized in person. Although this year’s in-person endowment event was smaller than the Foundation’s annual scholarship celebration out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19, the College hopes to resume its full-scale Foundation scholarship fundraising luncheon in 2023.

“These new endowed scholarships will provide assistance to deserving students for years to come, making it possible for them to achieve their dreams and provide a better life for themselves and their families,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “We are grateful for the selfless generosity of those who established these endowments in memory and honor of loved ones and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

At the luncheon, guests heard from Rowan-Cabarrus graduate Mark Hill, who earned an associate degree in mechanical and industrial engineering technology in 2018 and was the recipient of a Foundation scholarship. He and his wife, Kelly, a graduate of the Rowan-Cabarrus nursing program who also received a scholarship from the Foundation, plan to give back by establishing a scholarship themselves.

“The scholarships we received put us on a path where we can be in a position to start our own,” Hill said. “You can rest assured that your investment in students through your endowments will continue to increase in value, for them, their families, businesses that hire them, and the community.”

The following new scholarships were announced at the luncheon:

The Ashley C. and Michael P. Fischer Endowed Scholarship: Cabarrus County natives Ashley Cunningham Fischer and Michael Fischer 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 Rowan-Cabarrus for more than 30 years. Michael is a current Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation Board member.

The Austin G. Beverly Memorial Endowed Scholarship: Austin 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. “All my life, people have helped me with my career,” said Hemric, a Kannapolis native. “Had my racing career not continued, there is a good chance I would have gone to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Hopefully this scholarship will help students much like others have helped me.”

The Harold C. Earnhardt Memorial Endowed Scholarship: The family of Harold Earnhardt established this scholarship to honor his memory and ensure that 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 Rowan-Cabarrus 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 US 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. By establishing this scholarship, they hope to help students improve their lives.

The Maria Hall Emergency Assistance Endowed Scholarship: Maria Hall, who worked as a career services and counselor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College for many years, was a student advocate who believed in second, third and fourth chances to help people strive to be their best no matter what life may bring. This scholarship was created to continue her legacy of compassion and care and will provide annual financial assistance to Rowan-Cabarrus students.

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. As they became immersed in the community, Ray served as chair of the Rowan-Cabarrus 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: Sonny Dale Haigler was a graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, receiving his Associate in Applied Science in Information Systems degree in 1999. Rodgers Builders, where he worked as an application support analyst for 15 years, established the scholarship in his memory. “What made Sonny remarkable was his infectious positive attitude and his ability to lighten the mood while providing solutions,” said Markus Hill, Rodgers chief information officer. “Sonny’s time at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College prepared him with the technical skills to succeed in working in information technology. He was very proud of his degree and displayed his diploma in his office.”

The Sue McCoy Cunningham Endowed Scholarship: Sue McCoy Cunningham taught accounting and business administration at Rowan-Cabarrus Community 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. While at Rowan Cabarrus, she was named Teacher of the Year twice, served on various campus committees, acted as an academic advisor, was an advisor to the Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Beta Lambda and Rotaract clubs, and served as president of the Faculty Association. She also served on the Education Committee of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants.

“We make every investment count,” said Rowan-Cabarrus Chief Officer of Governance, Advancement and Community Relations Sarah Devlin. “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.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation or establishing an endowment may contact Connie Rheinecker, Foundation director, at