Open to the future
William “Chris” Thaxton has already started weeding out his Wolfpack red to clear the way for Pirate purple.
A visit to East Carolina University’s campus on Honors College Day convinced the longtime N.C. State fan that ECU was the place for him.
Thaxton, of La Grange, is one of 20 incoming freshmen entering ECU in August as EC Scholars – the most prestigious academic scholarship program the university offers.
“It was a good day,” said Thaxton, 17, who had been confident during the application and interview process but was still surprised to receive the scholarship. “It’s a big honor. I met a lot of great people there. I’m honored to be among them.”
He is interested in business and environmental biology – two totally different subjects. “But I like math and I like biology,” Thaxton said. “I want to get a feel for it. It might be something completely different. I’m pretty open-minded.”
The North Lenoir High School senior is involved in varied activities and has many interests. He is an Eagle Scout, he volunteers in a soup kitchen with his church, and he just performed the lead role in “The Sound of Music,” produced by his high school drama department, which he has enjoyed being involved in for four years.
He plays tennis and captains his cross country team and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is president of the Honors Society and Math Club, and captain of the Quiz Bowl team.
He also can sew, thanks to his mother, Lynn, a family and consumer science teacher at his high school. “I made a pair of pajama pants,” he said. His father, Will, is an N.C. Highway Patrolman.
Thaxton will be working at his town’s recreation department this summer, teaching tennis and leading clinics. He is looking forward to meeting new people at ECU, and becoming part of the EC Scholars community which provides community service and study abroad opportunities.
“I’ve left the country once with my family, but I’m looking forward to doing it by myself,” he said.
— Crystal Baity
About EC Scholars
EC Scholars exhibit outstanding academic performance and effective leadership skills.
They have opportunities to contribute to faculty-led research studies, engagement in the community and multiple service activities.
The amount awarded to scholarship recipients is $40,000 ($5,000 per semester for eight continuous semesters). In addition, EC Scholars are provided with a $5,000 stipend to help support their required study abroad experience.
The entering Class of 2016 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes: meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview. The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average combined math/verbal SAT score of 1346 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.89.