Foundation honoring late Winthrop professor awards scholarships, grants

adys@heraldonline.comFebruary 27, 2014 

— The foundation created to continue the legacy of late Winthrop University professor Cynthia Furr has awarded several grants and scholarships to teachers and students studying the arts.

Furr and her daughter, McAllister, were killed in a crash near Lake Wylie in April 2009 that was caused by two other cars racing at speeds up to 100 mph. Furr was an English professor who once taught high school in Charlotte. She also was an accomplished pianist and musician. Her family is from Chester.

Sharon Furr started the CindyMackie Foundation to keep her sister’s legacy of teaching, learning and love for the creative and performing arts alive. The foundation has raised and given away $70,000 in the past four years to students and aspiring teachers in South Carolina and North Carolina. This year’s awards totaled more than $10,000.

“Each extraordinary individual that we met brought us joy, and we know they will live out the legacy that is inspired by Cindy,” Sharon Furr said. “We feel very blessed and humbled that we get to give such an awesome gift to wonderfully deserving individuals in Cindy and Mackie’s name.”

This year’s recipients are:

• Melinda Abercrombie from the media center at the Academy of Teaching and Learning, a public elementary school in the Chester County school district. The media center is named in honor of Furr and her daughter.

• Emily Rzepka, a musician attending the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a scholarship for higher education.

• Twins Patrick Wheless and Helena Wheless, sixth-graders at Gaston Day School in Gastonia, N.C. Patrick received a grant to study at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, while Helena will attend the American Ballet Theatre in Winston-Salem, N.C.

• Ella Campbell, a third-grader at Gold Hill Elementary School in Fort Mill, received a grant to attend fashion, pottery and theater camps.

• Carrie Dansby, a Winthrop freshman majoring in early childhood education, received a scholarship.

• Carlo Dawson, the English department chair, creative writing teacher and literary magazine adviser at South Pointe High School, received a grant toward a graduate degree.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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