Grace Krell described the day she found out she was an EC Scholar as one of the best days of her life.
“We were in the car … and as we were pulling into the driveway, I grabbed the mail. I opened the beautiful card, and the music began to play. My family went crazy,” she said.
Krell says her older brother, who’s already a student in the Honors College, introduced her to East Carolina University. She visited campus a few times, with it feeling more like home each time, and she soon realized ECU had everything she was looking for in a university.
For example, she wants to be an engineer, and the small engineering classes appealed to her.
And she plans to minor in music, plays several instruments and was involved in high school and community ensembles and orchestras.
“A strong college music program was a must for me,” said the 18-year-old who who lives in Clemmons. “East Carolina is truly the full package, and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.”
EC Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program offered at ECU. The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills. Recipients receive an Honors College scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of $62,000.
Krell says having a college education paid in full, including studying a semester abroad, is “amazing.” However, since she was selected, her attention has shifted away from the financial award to the academic and social rewards being an EC Scholar can offer her.
“I realized at Selection Sunday that the current scholars were fantastic role models that I wanted to have as mentors,” she said.
Before Krell immerses herself in activities, such as auditioning for the East Carolina Wind Ensemble and other musical endeavors, she plans to take time this summer to spend with friends and family and continue volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House.
Once in the Honors College, Krell is not sure where she plans to study abroad. It’s a question everyone asks, and her answer is always different.
“I am obsessed with the Pirates Abroad website, and I enjoy reading the student profiles,” she said. “Today my choice would be Australia, but yesterday it was Germany. I may just have to study abroad more than once.”
Krell is the daughter of Roy and Linda-Sue Krell of Clemmons.
“East Carolina is truly the full package, and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.”
High school: West Forsyth High School
Intended major: Biomedical engineering