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The Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program

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The Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program

This competitive full-tuition, full cost of attendance scholarship was created as an opportunity to attract and support high achieving students at East Carolina University.  The scholarship program involves leadership development with the goal of continually enhancing the overall image of the university.  Leadership and service are interconnected, and this program highlights the importance of both activities at East Carolina University and beyond.

Overview & Criteria of Scholarship

The Darragh Scholars program will provide financial support for selected students throughout their undergraduate career.  Students must maintain scholarship criteria to remain eligible.  The selected scholar will receive an annual scholarship award of up to $25,000 covering the costs of tuition, fees, room and board.  Dollars in excess of East Carolina University’s “Total Cost of Attendance” will be used toward service-learning opportunities, books, computer/technology and additional programming dollars for the student’s experience through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

The selected student will participate in the Jarvis Leadership Living-Learning Community and complete the ECU Leads program towards development of a capstone project.  The ECU Leads program, a partnership between Student Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences, will employ an integrated approach and link both curricular and co-curricular leadership education.  Students will be recognized for their participation in the program at an official university awards ceremony, and their work will be noted on their transcripts.  Professional and peer mentors will guide students through the program as members of individual cohorts.  This approach will help students build a leadership portfolio that will contain both course-based and co-curricular leadership experiences.

Scholarship Criteria and Eligibility:

  • Must be accepted to attend East Carolina University as a first-year student in the Fall semester
  • Minimum 3.5 high school GPA, unweighted
  • Displayed leadership and service experience
  • Commitment to improving the image of the University
  • Must maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA as a full-time enrolled ECU student
  • Must be a North Carolina resident
  • Must live on campus for duration of scholarship (will live in Jarvis Hall as a participant of the Jarvis Leadership Living Learning Community for the first year)
  • Must participate in an annual Alternative Break Experience trip with the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (must apply separately for this program)
  • Must work as part of the ECU Leads program (must submit application separately) in the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement

Previous Recipients

Madison Weeks: Madison was named as the Fall 2017 Darragh Scholar.  Her intended major is Exercise Physiology with a minor in Leadership Studies.

Erin Mackey: Erin is the inaugural recipient of the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholarship.  Named as the Fall 2016 Darragh Scholar, she is majoring in Theatre Arts, Stage Management with a minor in Leadership Studies. 

Application Process

Students wishing to be considered for the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program will first need to be accepted as an incoming first-year student at East Carolina University.  Eligible incoming first-year students may apply for the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholarship through ECU’s scholarship application portal.

September 1, 2017: East Carolina University undergraduate admissions application opens.  Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program application opens in scholarship application portal.

December 15, 2017: Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program application deadline.  The application and all associated materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on this date.

December 15, 2017 – January 15, 2018: Application review period for candidates.

January 16, 2018: Targeted notification date for finalist interviews.

February 17, 2018: Finalist interviews for Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program.

February 21, 2018: Targeted notification date for award decision.

February 28, 2018: Verbal and written acceptance deadline for student offered the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholarship.

August 2018: Jarvis Leadership Living Learning Community Retreat (attendance required; more information to come).

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a prospective candidate apply for the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program?

A prospective candidate must complete two steps in the application process.  First, the ECU undergraduate application for freshman admission must be completed.  Second, if a student qualifies for the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program, the application must be completed through ECU’s scholarship application portal.

Do I need to be nominated by my high school?

Preference is given to applicants who are nominated by their high school guidance counselor.  However, those who are not nominated by their high school may still apply to the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program with two letters of support/recommendation letters.

What is included in the scholarship?

The selected scholar will receive an annual scholarship award of up to $25,000 covering the costs of tuition, fees, room and board.  Dollars in excess of East Carolina University’s “Total Cost of Attendance” will be used toward service-learning opportunities, books, computer/technology and additional programming dollars for the student’s experience through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Is this scholarship renewable?

The Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholarship is renewable for up to four years of a scholar’s undergraduate career.  Students must maintain scholarship criteria to remain eligible.  

Can I use the scholarship funds for summer classes?

No, scholarship funds are only applied to fall and spring semesters.

Do Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars need to be enrolled as full-time students?

Yes.  Darragh Scholars must remain a full-time student in fall and spring semesters at East Carolina University to remain eligible for the scholarship.

Can the scholarship be stacked with other scholarships?

The Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program allows its students to receive scholarships from other programs, and scholarships may be stacked up to the “cost of attendance.” If a student is receiving other scholarships, he/she is responsible for checking the stacking policies related to the other scholarships.  In general, excess award funds remaining after all university invoices have been paid are deposited into the scholar’s Higher One account.

Are Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars required to live in campus housing?

Yes. Darragh Scholars must live in the Jarvis Hall Leadership Living-Learning Community for the first year. In subsequent years, scholars must remain living on campus in any residence hall of their choice.

Can I participate in Honors College?

Yes, Darragh Scholars may still participate in the Honors College.  However, scholars will not live in the Honors College Residence Hall for the first year because they are required to live in Jarvis Hall.

What does the interview day involve?

Finalists for the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program and their families will be invited to interview on campus February 17, 2018.  The interview day will involve an overview of the scholarship, an opportunity to meet other finalists, and a 30-minute interview with a panel of selected staff, faculty, previous Darragh Scholars, and Mr. Gordon Darragh.

What are the requirements for ECU Leads?

ECU Leads provides an integrative learning experience through academic coursework, civic engagement, and campus involvement that enriches students’ understanding of inclusion, leadership, and service within a global community.  ECU Leads is intended as a three-year, multi-stage program integrating co-curricular learning, curricular learning, and experiential learning.  Visit the ECU Leads website for specific program requirements.

What happens if a Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholar needs to withdraw during a semester?

If a Darragh Scholar must withdraw from the university during a term, he/she is considered to have used that semester’s scholarship funds; no refunds should be expected.  If possible, Darragh Scholars should seek assistance from the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement prior to completing withdrawal procedures.  Notification of withdrawal should be made to the Dean of Students, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Will a Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholar lose his/her scholarship if he/she withdraws?

If a Darragh Scholar is withdrawing from the university, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement needs to be notified immediately by the student.  A student’s scholarship eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement will resolve questions regarding eligibility.

May the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholarship be terminated?

Yes, the scholarship may be terminated for the following reasons: failure to maintain academic standards; persistent lack of participation in ECU Leads; non-compliance with a program requirement; violation of university regulations; or engaging in other conduct that is incompatible with standards of the Gordon Darragh Leadership Scholars Program.  Darragh Scholars are required to follow the Principles of Academic Integrity and the Honor Code.