Joann Thomas and Nathan Fleming, both of Williamsboro, recently established a new Vance-Granville Community College scholarship, which they named in memory of the daughter they lost at the age of three.
The new academic achievement scholarship honors the memory of Joy Nicole Fleming, who passed away in 1975 due to complications from a brain tumor. Thomas recalled that her daughter, befitting her first name, was “smart and talkative and never found anybody she didn't like.” She also noted that Joy loved attending church at Island Creek Baptist Church.
Thomas is a retired nurse. She attended nursing school at Grace Hospital in Morganton, N.C., on a full scholarship herself, so she appreciates the value of helping students and told VGCC officials that she wanted to give back to today’s students. Thomas, who also holds a bachelor’s degree from Meredith College, had a long career in nursing, including stints at Granville Medical Center and in public health and hospice care in Granville, Vance and Warren counties. She added that she has always been “inspired by nurses.”
In awarding the new scholarship, preference will be given to female students who are enrolled in VGCC Health Sciences programs, such as Nursing, Radiography, Medical Assisting and Pharmacy Technology.
Fleming worked as a bookkeeper in the tobacco industry and later became a truck driver. The couple have another daughter, Amy.
“We are grateful to Nathan and Joann for honoring VGCC with such a generous gift in memory of their precious daughter, Joy,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC. “For generations to come, her name will be associated with supporting our students as they prepare for rewarding careers serving our communities in the health care field.”
Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 8,800 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college's faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.
Above: Celebrating the creation of the new scholarship are, from left, VGCC Endowment Specialist Kay Currin, Nathan Fleming, Joann Thomas and VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson. (VGCC photo)
Above: The late Joy Fleming, seen here at age 3. (family photo)