The John & Ruth Blue Scholarship Endowment, a fund of the Watauga County Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Blue Scholarship for 2019.
Jake Ganley was selected this year to become a Blue Scholar. Ganley is one of the top academic students at Watauga High School, a talented soccer player and gifted musician.
Jake is the son of Tim and Eve Ganley. He will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the National Honor Society, was a Junior Marshall and received an Academic Honors Award. He earned Varsity letters in soccer and lacrosse and is an accomplished musician playing the Violin and Classical Guitar. He is an active member of the Youth Group at Boone United Methodist Church.
This is the thirteenth year that the Blue Scholarship has been awarded. The recipients receive a scholarship ($6,000) to the university of their choice, renewable for four years. The recipients of the Blue Scholarship are selected based on academic excellence, physical vigor and activity, and leadership in the school, church and community.
The Blue Scholarship was established in 2001 by John and Ruth Blue with provisions for additional funds after their passing. The Blues retired to Watauga County more than 30 years ago and wanted to do something for the community that had meant so much to them. John was a member of the Blue family that organized the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad more than 100 years ago, operated as one of the most successful short line railroads in the country. The railroad serves the Aberdeen, Raeford and Fayetteville area and during World War II the system carried more than one million troops in and out of the Fort Bragg area.
John Blue passed away in 2003 and his wife Ruth died in 2005. Following their deaths, a significant estate gift was added to the original fund to support scholarships for graduates of a high school in Watauga County or Watauga County residents graduating from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the North Carolina School of the Arts or any other school for academically gifted students. The Blue Scholarship is one of the largest single local scholarships that is available to Watauga County residents and the contribution by the Blue family will ensure the perpetuity of the scholarship as it grows in future years. Recipients are known as Blue Scholars. Including the recipients for this year, seventeen Blue Scholars have been selected and awarded more than $286,500 in scholarship assistance.
The Blue Scholarship Endowment is one 35 funds of the Watauga County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. The local affiliate was organized in 1991 with the establishment of a Legacy Fund and now includes endowment holdings of more than $4 million. In 2018 the endowments funds of the Watauga Community Foundation made 30 grants totaling more than $215,000 and 12 scholarships totaling $45,000.
The NCCF is the single statewide community foundation and was created 30 years ago to build capacity through philanthropy. The NCCF sustains nearly 1,450 endowment funds established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations and scholarships. The NCCF partners with 60 affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance in 67 counties across the state, with an emphasis on rural and underserved areas. Since its inception, the NCCF has made $150 million in grants across the state. For more information, visit nccommunityfoundation.org.