UNC Asheville and The MLK Association Join to Create New Scholarship Program

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Joe Urgo and Oralene Simmons sign the agreement on June 27, 2018.

UNC Asheville and The Dr. Martin Luther King Association of Asheville & Buncombe County have agreed to create a new scholarship program, with costs shared by the university and the association. UNC Asheville Interim Chancellor Joe Urgo and MLK Association Founder and President Oralene Anderson Graves Simmons signed the agreement at a June 27, 2018 ceremony in the Ingles Mountain View Room in the Sherrill Center on campus.

“The Martin Luther King Association of Asheville and Buncombe County appreciates the presence of UNC Asheville in our community,” said Simmons. “It has been the pleasure of our association to present a number of worthy students with scholarships for the past 30 years. We are very excited to forge this agreement with the university so we can so we can increase our giving to students who want to continue their education at a college or a university. We are proud that out of the four scholarships that we presented this year, three students chose to attend UNC Asheville. We look forward to continuing this partnership.”

“With our shared values of promoting equity and opportunity, and with Dr. King’s strong belief in the empowerment brought by education, the MLK Association and the university are natural partners,” said Urgo. “Our partnership with the MLK Association will bring more young people to our campus from our area, especially from segments of our community who have been excluded in the past and still face many obstacles.”

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association Tuition Assistance Program at UNC Asheville is open to both first-year and transfer students and will grant up to $5,000 in tuition assistance to students nominated by the association who meet the university’s admissions requirements. The amount granted in tuition assistance will be matched by an equivalent amount of assistance that can be used for other expenses.

The MLK Association, known for staging Asheville’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast and the Peace March and Rally on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, is dedicated to preserving and advancing the King legacy by promoting goodwill and mutual respect among all peoples, and by promoting the development of character, integrity, leadership and scholarship of young people in the region.

UNC Asheville is the designated public liberal arts university in the UNC System and its practice of the liberal arts emphasizes the centrality of learning and discovery through exemplary teaching, innovative scholarship, creative expression, co-curricular activities, undergraduate research, engaged service, and practical experience. UNC Asheville offers a variety of scholarship opportunities with more information at admissions.unca.edu.