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SCC inducts next generation of New Century Scholars

SYLVA – Walking across the same stage on which they’ll one day receive their college degrees, seventh-graders from Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties were inducted into the New Century Scholars program on Tuesday, March 29, in Myers Auditorium on Southwestern Community College’s Jackson Campus.

Made possible entirely by the generosity of private donors, the New Century Scholars program guarantees support and last-dollar tuition assistance to a total of 30 inductees this year (10 from each county).

“All of these young students were chosen to be New Century Scholars because they have bright futures,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC’s President. “We’re very proud to celebrate their inductions with their parents and loved ones, and we look forward to seeing them back here in five short years as our students.”

During the ceremony, students received induction certificates from their respective superintendents: Dr. Dana Ayers of Jackson County, Dr. Chris Baldwin of Macon County, and Mark Sale of Swain County.

Established in 1995 by the late Dr. Charles McConnell, who was superintendent of Jackson County Schools, and then-SCC President Dr. Barry Russell, New Century Scholars is designed to improve academic readiness, bolster student persistence toward high school graduation and increase the college attendance rate.

More than 2,500 students have been inducted into the program over the years.

For more information about the program and how to support it, visit

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