BOONE — Months after Appalachian State sophomore Chad Dorrill died from COVID-19 complications, friends of the family have created a scholarship fund in his name.
The Chad Dorrill Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in part by friend of the family Zach Nichols.
“Chad’s legacy could kind of live on and be able to give opportunities to other kids who are seeking to continue their education,” Nichols said. “Everybody thought the world of Chad.”
Over the next 10 years, two high school students from Davidson County — where Dorrill had lived since 2013 — will be awarded a scholarship each year. The No. 10 represents Dorrill’s high school basketball number which was a sport he loved, his mother Susan Dorrill said.
“We were in shock, and in tremendous deep grief,” Susan Dorrill said. “As soon as we got home from the hospital, some attorneys in the neighborhood said, ‘This is what we would like to do.’ They were looking for a way to honor him and to help us when there’s really nothing else that could be done.”
Chad Dorrill died Sept. 28 at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem due to COVID-19 complications, according to a friend at the time..
“Chad was just so determined,” Susan Dorrill said. “We knew that he was going to graduate. He had his mind set. We just want to be able to help someone achieve something that he wasn’t able to do.”
Susan Dorrill said she is not sure how much of a scholarship each high school senior will get as it will depend on how much money is raised. The family has a public GoFundMe that has raised nearly $8,500 as of Jan. 5. The fund also has a private account that Susan Dorrill said is “generously funded.”
“We live in a very large, tight-knit community,” Nichols said. “The outpouring of support for this has been remarkable and truly inspiring. I think it really says a lot about who Chad was as a human being. I mean, truly just an amazing kid.”
Chad Dorrill was 19 years old and was studying exercise management at App State when he started to feel sick in September. He went home to test for COVID-19, of which he was positive, and stayed there to recover and quarantine.
After he returned to Boone, Chad Dorrill had additional complications that caused his family to come pick him up and take him back home where he was later hospitalized.
After his death, Appalachian State chancellor Sheri Everts sent an email to the campus community.
“It is with the deepest sadness that I share with you that one of our students, Chad Dorrill, has died,” Everts wrote. “The hearts of the entire Appalachian community are with Chad’s family and loved ones during this profoundly difficult and painful time. Tributes shared by friends and loved ones show the positive impact Chad had on the communities he loved and called home, which included App State and Boone.”
Chad Dorrill lived off campus and his classes were all online.
On the GoFundMe website, the family asks that people wear their masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“In honor of our beloved son, we continue to ask all college students living on and off college campuses around the country to please continue to wear your masks and quarantine if you are positive or waiting for results,” the GoFundMe states. “Please do not put your friends or classmates’ lives in danger as each person can react so differently to this virus. Chad is our why.”
Susan Dorrill described her son as kind and shy, but also silly.
“Chad was just an amazing person,” Susan Dorrill said. “Looking back, we realized he had been voted class clown of his senior year and at the end of his middle school. But it was a respectful class clown.”
Susan Dorrill said she is thankful her son got to experience one full semester of college before the pandemic hit as she said he was very excited to attend App State. But even then, Susan Dorrill knows he is missing a lot, which is heartbreaking to her.
“He did not get to experience college life and build relationships and things like that,” Susan Dorrill said. “There’s so many things that were robbed from him. It’s just heartbreaking to think because he was so excited to experience that part of his life and so much of it was taken away from him.”
Those wanting to donate to the The Chad Dorrill Memorial Scholarship Fund can donate here: www.gofundme.com/f/the-chad-dorrill-memorial-scholarship-fund?sharetype=teams&member=7168800&rcid=r01-160728011864-49f5df16f22a43c4&pc=tw_co_campmgmt_m&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet