Scholarship Program Receives Significant Gift

Mr. Cecil with Journey Scholars 2017
Above: Mr. Cecil with Journey Scholars 2017

Mr. Cecil with Journey Scholars in 2017The Board of Directors of WNC Communities is pleased to announce that the estate of George H.V. Cecil has donated $3.1 million to the George H.V. Cecil Journey Scholarship Fund, an endowment fund administered by WNC Communities and managed by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. This generous
contribution is a continuation of George Cecil’s long time commitment to education within the geography served by WNC Communities.

These funds allow the program to increase educational funding for students across Western North Carolina. The scholarships, which are available to high school seniors, will now be four-year renewable scholarships. The expectation of this newly endowed scholarship program is to help the young people of Western North Carolina
with the cost of attending college, while fostering lasting relationships between local youth and their communities.

The scholarship honors the legacy of George H.V. Cecil, who gave decades of service to our rural communities across Western North Carolina. Mr. Cecil was among the founders of the WNC Honors program in 1949 and served the
program for 71 years. He remained active as part of the scholarship committee until his death at age 95 on October 19, 2020. In recognition of Mr. Cecil’s lifetime contributions, and his dedication to higher education for all students living within the most rural geographies of Western North Carolina, the governing board of WNC Communities r e named this scholarship program in his honor.

WNC Communities is most grateful to the George H.V. Cecil family for their dedication to youth in rural communities and for the generous contribution that will fund this scholarship program in perpetuity. In doing so, Mr. Cecil’s wish, which was to improve the quality of life for all who live in WNC, will be honored. Throughout his business and civic career, he wanted to leave his community better than he found it.

Scholarship applicants must live or participate in a community that is enrolled in the WNC Honors Awards Program managed by WNC Communities. Extra consideration is given to applicants who actively volunteer with their community center. All applicants are expected to demonstrate good character, strong academic record,
dedication to community service, and leadership qualities. Additional eligibility requirements can be found on the application.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year opened in January of 2023 and are available through high school guidance counselors, community center officers, and found on the scholarship page. 

For questions about the application, or the program in general, please reach out to
the scholarship coordinator at or 828-252-4783.