Dr. John William Turrentine was a Burlington, N.C., native—known internationally as a groundbreaking chemist but respected locally as a civic philanthropist. By investing in scholarships for students from Alamance County, he significantly expanded opportunities for his community. At UNC Greensboro, these residents are top candidates for the William Holt & Ella (Rea) Turrentine Scholarship, named after Dr. Turrentine’s parents.
This year, junior Kellie Thomas is a fitting recipient of this award. As an Eastern Alamance High School graduate, her roots lie in Mebane, N.C.
“Alamance County has a special place in my heart. Not only is it where I grew up, it’s also where my parents and my grandparents grew up,” said Kellie. “It’s a place where people work hard, it’s a place where people care about each other, and it’s a place where you’re almost certainly going to see someone you know every time you go to Target.”
This warm hometown spirit is evident in Kellie and even more so in the career she is building at the University. These days, much of her study is marked with an agenda for humanitarianism.
“I am currently discerning a call to full-time vocational ministry,” stated Kellie. “In particular, I want to fight for social justice from the intersection of the church and the world.”
Getting a great start on her mission, Kellie serves the local community in several fashions. Her most worthy cause has been helping to tackle food insecurity at the University and around Guilford County: She is a student intern at the Spartan Open Pantry, works with the UNCG Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement as a civic engagement fellow for Farmer Foodshare, and is serving this semester as the UNCG Ambassador for the Food Lion Feeds Collegiate Hunger Challenge.
Impressively, Kellie is also on the Student Leadership Council for Wesley-Luther, a campus ministry group, and she is a Spartan Guide with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Even more amazing, she does all of this as a UNCG Lloyd International Honors College student and as the art director for the program’s award-winning newsletter, the Navigator.
“Being at UNCG has been the most rewarding experience of my life,” said Kellie. “Every class I’ve taken, professor I’ve had, and organization I’ve been a part of has taught me something new about the world, my community, and myself. Not only have I gained valuable knowledge in the classroom, but I’ve also learned about my own strengths and challenges, and that I have the capacity to do a lot more than I would have imagined.”
As Kellie continues on her path of achievement, which is obviously far from over, the William Holt & Ella (Rea) Turrentine Scholarship is now forever tied to her journey. Together, they will undoubtedly create a wonderful Alamance County success story.
Story by Brittany Cameron, Donor Relations
Endowments provide donors with opportunities to create living legacies and touch the lives of future generations.