LUMBERTON — A new endowed scholarship, a new Student Government Association president and a new-look student body were all part of the Monday meeting of the Robeson Community College board of trustees.
Drs. Joe and Annette Burke of Lumberton contributed $25,000 for a student scholarship in Early Childhood Education, according to a quarterly report from Rebekah Lowry, director of the RCC Foundation. An endowment is a permanent gift to the college’s endowment fund, and scholarship money is produced from investments.
“Gifts to RCC are up 5 percent compared with last year, and the endowment is approximately $2 million,” Lowry said. “The annual scholarship golf tournament is expected to produce another $25,000when all the gifts are in.”
Dr. Joe Burke is a retired radiologist and Dr. Annette Burke is a retired pediatrician.
Samantha Lewis is the new SGA president and is the first Early College student to be elected to lead RCC’s students. Early College is a program for high school students to earn their high school diploma and associate degree before applying to a four-year college or beginning a career in a trade.
“We have a great Student Government Association this year,” said RCC President Kimberly Gold. “I am expecting to see some great things.”
Lewis, who lives in Parkton, is seeking an associate degree in science and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Cellular Biology.
The new SGA vice president is Brandon Shaw of Lumberton. Secretary is Lily Nguyen; treasurer is Trenton Ward of Rowland; and parliamentarian is Antonio Flores.
RCC’s enrollment has leveled off in the past two years, but the average age of its students is dropping, according to Bill Mauney, vice president for instruction and support services.
Enrollment this fall is 1,935, down 35 students from last year. Community college enrolment generally grows with unemployment and declines in periods of full employment, Mauney said. Early College has an enrollment of 105 students.
“We have more part-time students than full time,” he said, adding that 57.5 percent are part-time.
Slightly more than half of RCC’s students are under 21 years of age and 73.95 percent are under age 25, he said.
“Not too many years ago, we had more older students,” Mauney said. “Early College contributes to this trend. It is a statewide trend.”
Jo Ann Oxendine, director of industry services/workforce development and continuing education, reported that RCC has state grants of more than $100,000 to provide training for employees of three businesses: Elkay Southern, Trinity Frozen Foods and Apparel USA, a new business in Fairmont.
The RCC Foundation will sponsor a Purple Door production of “Beauty and the Beast” for five shows, Nov. 21, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 25 and 26 at 2:30 p.m. in the A.D. Lewis Auditorium. Tickets are $13 and $8 for RCC students and staff. For ticket information, call (910) 224-4000.