Women’s Roundtable creates new Access scholarship endowment

More scholarship offerings will be available to deserving ECU students thanks to a new endowment from the ECU Women’s Roundtable.

The organization focuses on service, leadership and philanthropy at ECU, in addition to building a community of women graduates. Since 2008, the Women’s Roundtable has awarded over $170,000 in scholarships. The new endowment for an Access scholarship will be the third established by the group or one of its board members, said Julie Wall, chair and 1996 alumna. It joins the Kay Chalk Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship and the Kathy A. Taft Memorial Women’s Roundtable Access Scholarship. The group is also working to endow an Honors College scholarship, Wall said.

Marnie Oursler ’01 gives the keynote speech at the 2019 Incredible ECU Women Luncheon at the Main Campus Student Center.

Marnie Oursler ’01 gives the keynote speech at the 2019 Incredible ECU Women Luncheon at the Main Campus Student Center. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“These are need-based scholarships that without these funds, these Access students would not be able to go to college. In many cases these are first-generation college students. My hope for this endowment is that it recognizes the long-standing commitment the Women’s Roundtable board members and emeritae have to students and faculty at ECU,” Wall said.

An endowed scholarship can be established by making a minimum gift of $25,000. The most recent Access scholarship was endowed at the $125,000 level. When a scholarship is endowed, the original gift is invested in perpetuity. The earnings are then used to pay scholarships.

Allison Fulcher is a Women’s Roundtable scholarship recipient.

Allison Fulcher is a Women’s Roundtable scholarship recipient.

For freshman Allison Fulcher of New Bern, a Women’s Roundtable scholarship not only relieved some of the financial burden of attending college, but also gave her opportunities to grow and network. Women’s Roundtable Access scholars are invited to group events including the Incredible ECU Women Luncheon, Sister Talk Book Club and board of directors meetings.

Fulcher attended the Incredible ECU Women Luncheon in the fall of 2019. “It was such a special event recognizing amazing ECU women and their accomplishments. It meant a lot to be invited and meet some of the women behind ECU Women’s Roundtable and see how much they care about building up women on our campus and beyond,” she said.

I am so beyond thankful for my scholarship and that I was even considered for it at all. I am also so thankful for my lovely donor, Kay Chalk, and the ECU Women’s Roundtable for supporting me financially and investing in me during my time at ECU. I am truly able to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are here for me at ECU and know that I am really being supported my university,” Fulcher added.

The Women’s Roundtable is committed to funding student scholarships and building leadership and service capacity among women. This mission is consistent with the university’s focus on student success and public service.

“For ECU to continue to make its footprint across North Carolina and our nation, it is imperative that we continue offering scholarship opportunities to all backgrounds of students. Through our Access and Honors College scholarships, we are able to promote our mission which is funding scholarships, building leadership and service capacity among women,” Wall said. “We are vested in the success of our students and the university.”


-by Erin Ward, University Communications


Related: ECU Women’s Roundtable honors 11 ‘incredible’ alumnae at annual luncheon

Related: Alumna Marnie Oursler is building big on HGTV