Press release from UNC Asheville:
UNC Asheville announces Julia G. Ray Endowed Scholarship
Mrs. Julia G. Ray, a former Board of Trustees member at UNC Asheville, has established a scholarship at the university. The Julia G. Ray Endowed Scholarship will support one student each year.
“For generations now, my mother has been working to close the gap in her own small way between what is evident in our country’s creed and its performance. For three decades, and perhaps four, she has tried to help deserving students, and she has done this in almost a secret fashion,” said Wilma Ray-Bledsoe.
The gift to UNC Asheville comes close to home. “You should know that she cares about this university, this faculty, all of the students and staff. This community as a whole has given her an exceedingly rich life experience,” Ray-Bledsoe said.
The scholarship recognizes Mrs. Ray’s continued commitment to her community. Turning 100 this month, Mrs. Ray was the first African-American on the Board of Trustees of Mission Hospital, and she served as trustee for both the UNC Asheville and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (then called the NC Center for Creative Retirement). She also served on the Friends of the YMI and helped to establish the Goombay Festival. Among other honors, Mrs. Ray is the recipient of the Mission/MAHEC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award for her pioneering service to the Asheville medical community. She was named a “Living Treasure” by Asheville’s Living Treasure Committee in 2013.
“I come from a large southern family and each one of us always felt a responsibility for helping the next one younger. That idea has grown in our family. Every little dollar you add means that much more,” said Mrs. Ray. “I’m very happy that this university has grown to what it is today, and that young people have the opportunities to further their education.”
The Julia G. Ray Endowed Scholarship was one of many celebrated at UNC Asheville’s annual scholarship luncheon on Oct. 21, 2014.
“I know firsthand, the difference a scholarship makes in the life of a student,” said Himanshu Karvir, UNC Asheville Foundation Board chair. “The capability of our foundation and the scholarships we create, to make a positive difference in our student’s lives, is what drives me and makes me proud of what we are doing at our university for our students. Scholarship support is the catalyst for creating a bright future, and I am so excited for the bright future that UNC Asheville students will create and are creating.”
For more information about scholarships at UNC Asheville, visit financialaid.unca.edu/scholarships. To give to scholarships at UNC Asheville, visit giving.unca.edu.