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New scholarship honors Brenda Oliver Holt

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Nov 14 2018
Two ladies pose for a photo inside SCC's Burrell Building in Sylva.
Brenda Oliver Holt (right) is pictured here with Terran Jordan, the first recipient of a scholarship recently endowed in Mrs. Holt’s honor.

Brenda Oliver Holt held a special place in her husband’s heart.

So did Southwestern Community College.

A few months before W. Paul Holt, Jr., passed away this summer, the longtime SCC Trustee found a way to simultaneously honor his wife and also support students at the college he served for more than half a century as he established the “Brenda Oliver Holt Endowed Nursing Scholarship” through the SCC Foundation.

The scholarship was set up in honor of the Holts’ wedding anniversary, and it will be awarded annually to a student who’s been accepted into SCC’s Nursing program.

“I am deeply moved by such a generous gift,” Mrs. Holt said. “My sincere hope is that many students will be able to have careers in the nursing profession for years to come.”

The first scholarship was awarded this fall to Terran Jordan, an SCC Nursing student.

Over a 38-year nursing career, Mrs. Holt served in neonatal, school and surgical nursing. Most of her career was in operating room nursing, and she spent several years as Director of the Operating Room at Sylva’s Harris Regional Hospital.

 “My lifelong desire to become a nurse began in my early years when I had an illness that required weekly visits to a doctor's office,” Mrs. Holt recalled. “The nurse was so kind and inspired me to follow her example.

“Nursing school was a great learning experience for me, and I embraced the challenges each specialty area presented,” she added. “The field of nursing is very rewarding. The appreciation you experience from people you have helped makes the long hours and hard work worthwhile.”

Outside the realm of healthcare, Mrs. Holt served for 11 years as a board member and 17 years as Mayor for the Town of Sylva.

Paul Holt was a founding member of Southwestern’s Board of Trustees, and he established the SCC Foundation in 1973. He served on SCC’s board for 53 years, making him the longest-serving Trustee in N.C. Community College history.

For more information about Nursing and other Health Sciences programs at Southwestern, visit www.southwesterncc.edu.

To learn more about endowments and other ways to support SCC students, contact Brett Woods at 828.339.4241 or b_woods[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu.