Longtime Haywood Community College donors Nick and Ellen Nichols recently established the Linda C. Caldwell Scholarship through the college’s foundation. This annual scholarship is in honor of longtime HCC employee and HCC graduate Linda Caldwell. Beginning this spring, one student per semester in a business related field of study will receive a $500 scholarship.

Nick Nichols began working at HCC in 1974 as Business instructor. Caldwell was department assistant at the time. “Linda helped a rookie teacher,” he explains. “She was always willing to help and was a wealth of information and knowledge. She has dedicated her life to HCC and I want to recognize her hard work and effort.”

For more than 45 years, Caldwell has been a mainstay at the college, watching the college grow and change. Her tenure began after graduating from the Executive Secretarial program in 1969. She first began working in the Wood Products Department then moved to the Business Education Department. Caldwell worked during the day and taught at night for almost 20 years.

What has kept her at HCC all this time? “It’s more than just a job. My dream came true when I started teaching full-time. There’s job satisfaction you get from helping students.”

This attitude is one of the many factors that weighed on the Nichols to start this scholarship. “Linda is one of the most humble and most humorous people,” Nick Nichols, 2000 HCC retiree, says. “She is from a different age. She has more manners and class than anyone I know. She is so gracious. And she understands the aspect of folks who need a leg up.”

Caldwell says that often the roles are reversed without her students even knowing it. “I learn a lot from my students. I see myself in so many of them. I hope this scholarship may help students achieve their dream. I am excited to play a part in helping someone realize that education changes things.”

Nichols says starting the scholarship was a perfect way to honor Caldwell.

“Nick brings out the best in you,” Caldwell says. “I am glad I had the opportunity to work for people like him. And I’ll never forget their kindness.”

For more information about scholarships available through HCC’s Foundation, please call 828-565-4170.