By Jessica Nottingham
For ECU News Services
East Carolina University’s Honors College hosted its sixth annual Selection Sunday and Honors College Preview Day for top scholarship program finalists and admitted honors students Feb. 14-15.
Approximately 80 finalists were selected to interview during Selection Sunday for the EC Scholars, Early Assurance (in audiology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy), Business Scholars, Humanities Scholars and Music Scholars award programs housed in the Honors College. In addition to the respective scholarship program benefits, recipients received the Honors College scholarship of in-state tuition valued at approximately $17,000 and are offered unique leadership, mentorship and community-engagement opportunities.
The EC Scholars Award Program is ECU’s most prestigious merit scholarship program valued at approximately $62,000 awarded over four years. The scholarship program includes a $5,000 study abroad stipend as well as the Honor College scholarship of in-state tuition. Setting a record, the program received 530 applications and interviewed 49 finalists. With 20 awards, the EC Scholars award is the largest scholarship program in the Honors College.
Faculty, alumni, donors and campus administrators volunteered to select and interview finalists on Selection Sunday.
“Being part of the EC Scholars Selection Sunday was quite a privilege,” said Margaret Turner, director of marketing and outreach for the College of Engineering and Technology, who served as an EC Scholars Award Program interviewer. “All of the candidates are extraordinary students and not only impressive on paper, but even more so in person. It’s exciting to be a part of selecting the next cohort of scholars that will represent ECU.”
Advocating and fundraising for the Honors College, the ECU Women’s Roundtable became a supporting partner this year. Shelby Strother, emerita Women’s Roundtable member and 2007 Incredible ECU Women honoree also served as an EC Scholars interviewer. “Some of [the students] have already accomplished more in their K-12 education than others do in a life time,” said Strother. “East Carolina University is very fortunate to have these outstanding students as part of the incoming freshmen class.”
The early assurance programs (EAP) guarantee admissions into the respective graduate or doctoral programs at ECU after completing an undergraduate degree as an honors student. The most competitive EAP is in medicine, which offers recipients guaranteed admittance to the Brody School of Medicine. The EAP in medicine received 176 applications, interviewed 23 finalists and will name four recipients and four alternates.
The EAP in nursing received 46 applications, selected six finalists and will award three recipients. The EAP in physical therapy received 45 applications, interviewed four finalists and will name two recipients. The EAP in occupational therapy received 9 applications, interviewed and will award two finalists. The EAP in audiology received four applications and selected one finalist to interview and award the scholarship.
The scholar program awards in business, humanities and music are valued at approximately $30,000 over four years including the Honors College in-state tuition scholarship. Applicants must articulate an interest and dedication to one of these respective fields on their Honors College application to be selected as a finalist.
After receiving 52 applications, the Business Scholars program interviewed six finalists and will award two recipients. This program also provides guaranteed entry to ECU’s MBA program upon completion of an undergraduate degree in business. The Humanities Scholars program received 13 applicants, interviewed and awarded one finalist. The Music Scholars program received 30 applicants, and the finalists are still participating in auditions.
The Honors College has partnered with ECU’s Brody School of Medicine, College of Allied Health, College of Business, College of Nursing, School of Music and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences to deliver these award programs.
“Selection Sunday is a time for us to showcase ECU’s prestigious merit scholarship programs to some of the best students in our region and nation,” said Dr. Todd Fraley, director of the EC Scholars Award Program and interim associate dean of academic programs for the ECU Honors College. “Every year, I continue to be amazed by the students and how competitive these programs have become.”
Finalists had lunch with current recipients of the Honors College scholarship awards, university leaders and college constituents to learn more about ECU, the Honors College its scholarship programs. Following the lunch, finalists participated in their interviews and were invited to a reception at the East Carolina Heart Institute. At the reception, the prospective scholars and their families heard from Dr. David White, interim dean of the Honors College, Dr. Ron Mitchelson, the ECU provost, Dr. Liz Fogarty, an Honors College faculty fellow and associate professor in the College of Education and Chris Thaxton, a senior EC Scholar majoring in biology and chemistry.
On the Monday following Selection Sunday, the Honors College hosted Preview Day for accepted honors students who enter fall 2016 as freshmen. Designed to assist students in their college selection decision, the event featured campus administrators including Dr. Steve Ballard, ECU Chancellor, Dr. Dave Meredith, director of admissions, White, interim dean of the Honors College and Kevin Baxter, associate dean of the Honors College.
Prospective honors students heard from faculty, current students and parents, met with advisors from colleges across campus, participated in a campus and Gateway Residence Hall tour, and ate lunch at West End Dining Hall.
“East Carolina University and the Honors College have a lot to offer high-achieving students,” said White. “I am confident that the scholar program finalists and accepted honors students and their families left ECU knowing that we are a campus committed to scholarship, leadership, character and service.”
For more information about the Honors College and its special scholarship offerings, visit www.ecu.edu/honors. Photo galleries for Selection Sunday and Preview Day are available.