NCTC Foundation honors donors, employees and scholarship recipients

Elizabeth F. Abu | Nov 21, 2019

The North Central Texas College Foundation celebrated the accomplishments of students and the donors who helped provide scholarships for those students at the annual Donor and Scholar Breakfast Friday at Lions Gym on the NCTC Gainesville campus. For the first year, the NCTC Foundation also honored NCTC employees that donate to student scholarships at an Employee Donor and Scholar Luncheon the same day.

The theme of this year’s events was “Racing to Success.”

The events allowed scholarship recipients the chance to meet and personally thank the donors and employees who gave money for scholarships through the NCTC Foundation. It also allowed the donors to get to know the students and learn more about them and their future plans.

Ryan Morris, the President of the NCTC Foundation, welcomed the crowd and thanked the donors for their support of the scholarship program and wished the recipients good luck as they continue their pursuit of education.

Debbie Sharp, NCTC Vice Chancellor of External Affairs, announced that 13 new scholarships have been established within the past year.

Tim and Mary Turbeville have established the Megan Elizabeth Turbeville Scholarship to support NCTC students from Cooke County who are pursuing a degree in education. They have established this scholarship in memory of their daughter, Megan, who attended NCTC and had a love for life and education. 

Honoring their mother, Karen Simpson and Garth Budlong and their children and grandchildren, have established the Betty Kirby Budlong Scholarship to assist NCTC students.  Understanding the importance of education and helping others, they wanted to honor their mother with the establishment of this scholarship.

NCTC and the Medal of Honor Host City have a long partnership and this year the Medal of Honor board has established the Medal of Honor Host City Scholarship to support veterans and their children attending NCTC.

The Gainesville Firefighters Association has established an endowed scholarship to honor a fellow firefighter – the Doug Anderle Scholarship was established this year.  His scholarship will benefit students from Cooke County majoring in fire science or agriculture.

The First State Bank is a long-time supporter of NCTC and through their gift to the First State Bank Exchange they allocated funds to establish the First State Bank Scholarship to assist NCTC students majoring in business, information technology, marketing or human resources.

The NCTC Foundation recently received a significant donation from the Jan Parsons Estate to add to the Colonel Albro Parsons Jr. Scholarship and the Jan Parsons Music Scholarship to assist NCTC students.  Jan served on the Foundation Board for several years and was a great supporter of the college.

Frank and Dorothy Knapp were recognized again this year for their contribution to NCTC students. They are assisting twenty students this year through scholarships.

Understanding the value of an education and the difference it makes in one’s life, Maurice Robeson Irish has established a Robeson Family Promise Fund to assist students in obtaining their education. A long-time supporter of NCTC as an instructor, administrator and a donor, Maurice is a great example of how an individual can help students go the distance in their race for success.

Over this past year, the Flower Mount Summit Club funded the remaining balance in their first endowed scholarship and fully endowed a second scholarship.  The Summit Club is active in the Flower Mound community helping others and through these scholarships they are helping future leaders for the Flower Mound community.

William “Bill” Adams has been a long-time supporter of scholarships for NCTC students.  Through his commitment to the Foundation’s Empower the Future campaign, he provided additional funds for NCTC scholarships.

Bud and Lynn Peters were already major contributors to the NCTC Foundation through their scholarship support. This year, prior to Bud’s passing, they established the Bud & Lynn Peters Success Fund to assist students who need extra assistance to stay in school.  They have also selected the NCTC Foundation as a beneficiary as part of their estate planning.

Through an anonymous donor and friend of Eva Followill, an endowed scholarship has been established to assist students with a financial need to attend NCTC. The Eva Followill Scholarship will provide financial assistance to students and allow them to pursue their educational dreams.

Finally, Claud and Carol Cash Fry have established a charitable trust to fund the Claud and Carol Cash Fry Scholarship. This scholarship will assist NCTC students majoring in education or accounting.

The guest speaker at Friday’s breakfast was newly-retired NCTC Instructor Kenny Smith, the 2019 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. The guest speaker for Friday’s luncheon was NCTC’s 2019 Employee of the Year, Alex Holland.

Morris then introduced three scholarship recipients, Piero Centurion, Nia Damali, and Gaby Antoun, who each spoke about how the scholarships they received have helped them in their goal of obtaining an education.

James Cooksey, a 1969 NCTC Alumni from Saint Jo, Texas, gave a riveting speech to students. He encouraged them to be fearless, have urgency, capitalize on their creativity, and to be aggressive when racing to success.  Cooksey is considered a trailblazer in the commercial real estate industry and recently was named the Commercial Real Estate Executive of the Year in D Magazine’s D CEO’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Awards.

Sheldon Connell, an NCTC Denton County Foundation board member, then told the audience that since 1986, more than 25,000 scholarships have been awarded valued at more than $9.5 million.

Both events ended with NCTC Chancellor Dr. Brent Wallace thanking the donors and congratulating the scholarship recipients.

For more information about the NCTC Foundation, contact Sharp at 940-668-3305.



NCTC Students and scholarship recipients Nia Damali (left), Piero Centurion (center), and Gaby Antoun (right) shared their stories Friday at the NCTC Foundation Donor Scholar events.



James Cooksey, a 1969 NCTC Alumni from Saint Jo, Texas, gave a riveting speech to students, employees and donors at the NCTC Foundation Donor and Scholar events last Friday.