Scholarship reaches goal in just five years.
What began as the desire of a grateful young alumna to give back to her alma mater in honor of an influential professor has grown into a fully endowed scholarship that will be awarded for the first time in the year that professor retires from Hollins.
The day after Kelly Moul Morrison ’03 and her husband, Tristan, received news that both had passed the Georgia Bar exams in 2007, she wrote to her former professor—then provost—Wayne Markert to express her interest in establishing a scholarship in his honor.
Morrison couldn’t manage the $100,000 commitment required for a scholarship, so she worked with the development office to start with a pledge of $25,000, payable over five years to endow a faculty research fund. The endowment agreement she signed stipulated that when the fund finally did reach $100,000 through additional gifts from her and others and market appreciation, it would become a merit-based scholarship. But that was far down the road—or so Morrison thought.
When Markert announced that he would be stepping down as provost at the end of the 2007-08 academic year to return to classroom teaching in the English department, the trustees decided the best way to honor his services was to add to Morrison’s fund. Their response pushed the fund over $100,000 in gifts and pledges in less than a month.
With those pledges now paid, the endowed fund converts to the L. Wayne Markert Endowed Merit Scholarship, which will be awarded for the first time in the fall of 2013, a great sendoff to Markert who retires after 16 years at Hollins. He served as vice president for academic affairs from 1997 to 2003 and provost from 2003 to 2008, including a year as acting president after President Nora Kizer Bell’s death in 2004. He has been teaching English literature for the past five years.
The value of the Markert Scholarship endowment was $109,714 as of December 31, 2012. Thanks to the trustees and other Wayne Markert fans, the scholarship goal was achieved in just five years. President Gray said, “I was impressed and inspired by Kelly’s desire as a young alumna to create this fund to honor a favorite professor. That the goal of $100,000 was reached so quickly is a tribute to both Kelly and to Dr. Markert and the high esteem in which he is held by this institution.” Additions to the scholarship are still welcome.
To read a tribute to Markert, click here.