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Connie M. Haire Scholarship

 Phil Haire (second from left) and Dr. Connie Haire (third from left) recently endowed a scholarship through the SCC Foundation. They are shown here with Dr. Don Tomas (left), president of SCC, and Brett Woods (right), director of the SCC Foundation.

During her 25 years of overseeing the Southwestern Community College Foundation, Dr. Connie M. Haire had the privilege of seeing just how significantly scholarship funding could impact a student’s life.

Now retired, she and her husband – former N.C. Rep. Phil Haire – have ensured many more lives will be changed for the better.

The Haires, who reside in Sylva, set up the Connie M. Haire Endowed Scholarship fund in 2017.

“Phil and I wanted to provide for student support for many years to come, and we wanted to set up an endowment that would provide scholarships in perpetuity,” Dr. Haire said. “Since retiring six years ago, I have seen the growth in programs and student success, and I want to be part of that going forward. This scholarship endowment allows me to continue to be a part of the SCC family.”

Dr. Haire served in a variety of roles at SCC before retiring in 2011 as vice president of the Macon Campus and institutional development. She previously served as vice president for student and institutional development (1995-2005), dean for institutional development (1997-99) and director of resource development (1986-97).

Throughout her time with the college, she oversaw the SCC Foundation.

“Very few people have spent more time than Dr. Haire has over the years working to help our students through the SCC Foundation,” said Dr. Don Tomas, president of SCC. “She knows as well as anyone how much an endowed scholarship can mean to current and future students. On behalf of our students, I am extremely grateful that the Haires have endowed this scholarship in her name.”

During Dr. Haire’s tenure, then-president Dr. Barry Russell and the late Dr. Charles McConnell – who was then superintendent of Jackson County Schools - founded the New Century Scholars program. Funded solely by private gifts, New Century Scholars provides last-dollar tuition for deserving students in Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties.

Dr. Haire immediately became a strong advocate and leader in helping raise funds for the program, which has touched hundreds of area families and is still thriving today.

“I had a wonderful career at Southwestern, and I had the opportunity to work in many different areas of the college – all of which were related to support for students and programming,” Dr. Haire said. “Of the many initiatives we began, one of the most rewarding is New Century Scholars. It is wonderful to see how it’s continuing to help young students and their families.”

Following is criteria for applying for this scholarship:

  • Applicant must be enrolled 3/4 time or more

For more information about endowed scholarships or other giving opportunities at SCC, visit, call 828.339.4227 or write

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