BOONE — The John & Ruth Blue Scholarship Endowment, a fund of the Watauga County Community Foundation, recently announced the recipient of the Blue Scholarship for 2019, Jake Ganley. Ganley is one of the top academic students at Watauga High School, a talented soccer player and gifted musician.
Ganley is the son of Tim and Eve Ganley. He will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a member of the National Honor Society, was a Junior Marshal and received an Academic Honors Award. He earned Varsity letters in soccer and lacrosse and is an accomplished musician playing the violin and classical guitar. He is an active member of the youth group at Boone United Methodist Church.
This is the 13th year that the Blue Scholarship has been awarded. The recipients receive a scholarship ($6,000) to the university of their choice, renewable for four years. The recipients of the Blue Scholarship are selected based on academic excellence, physical vigor and activity, and leadership in the school, church and community.
The Blue Scholarship was established in 2001 by John and Ruth Blue with provisions for additional funds after their passing. The Blues retired to Watauga County more than 30 years ago and wanted to do something for the community that had meant so much to them. John was a member of the Blue family that organized the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad more than 100 years ago, operated as one of the most successful short line railroads in the country. The railroad serves the Aberdeen, Raeford and Fayetteville area, and during World War II the system carried more than one million troops in and out of the Fort Bragg area.
The Blue Scholarship is one of the largest single local scholarships that is available to Watauga County residents and the contribution by the Blue family will ensure the perpetuity of the scholarship as it grows in future years. Including the recipients for this year, 17 Blue Scholars have been selected and awarded more than $286,500 in scholarship assistance.
The Blue Scholarship Endowment is one of 35 funds of the Watauga County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. The local affiliate was organized in 1991 with the establishment of a Legacy Fund and now includes endowment holdings of more than $4 million. In 2018 the endowments funds of the Watauga Community Foundation made 30 grants totaling more than $215,000 and 12 scholarships totaling $45,000.