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Gloria Morgan (left) and Southern Bank CEO Grey Morgan (center) introduce themselves to EC Scholar Rachel Mehaffey during a Jan. 30 luncheon at ECU. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Southern Bank endows prestigious EC Scholar award

Feb. 8, 2013

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

The Southern Bank Foundation has established an endowment to fund an EC Scholars award at East Carolina University in the amount of $400,000.

The four-year merit scholarships are awarded annually and recognize outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive a scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of approximately $45,000.

“This partnership with Southern Bank is especially important to our efforts to provide exceptional educational opportunities to East Carolina University’s best and brightest students,” said Dr. Richard Eakin, interim dean of the Honors College.

The EC Scholars Program was established in 1998 and, today, is housed within the Honors College at ECU. To date, 70 endowments have been established to support the scholarships.

“Southern Bank’s support of the Honors College demonstrates our commitment to the University as well as to the markets we serve,” said Wayne Murphy, senior vice president for Southern Bank’s central region.

“We understand that growth in eastern North Carolina can only come through a better educated workforce. After meeting a few of the Honors students and hearing more about the seminars and focus on community embedded in the program, we are pleased to see that commitment to community and market is a shared vision by the university.”

The Southern Bank Foundation makes charitable gifts to support programs in communities served by Southern Bank and Trust Company. Founded in 1901, Southern Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern BancShares (N.C.), Inc. With its corporate headquarters located in Mount Olive, the bank has total assets of approximately $2 billion and a branch network spanning North Carolina and Virginia.