DOBSON — The family of the late Sydney Caudle, a former standout athlete at Starmount High and Surry Community College, announced a new scholarship opportunity for a female student-athlete wishing to continue her academic and athletic career at Surry Community College beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year.
The Sydney Caudle Memorial Scholarship will allow a graduate of Starmount to attend SCC with tuition and books covered on an annual basis. Resident tuition at SCC is about $2,600 with fees and books adding to that total. The Caudle family plans to award a second scholarship annually so that potentially a freshman and sophomore would earn a scholarship annually and continue their athletic careers.
In June of 2017, Caudle, 22, was tragically killed in a car accident. Caudle, who played softball, volleyball and basketball at Starmount, was a Division II All-Region outfielder for SCC. In 2015, the Knights won Region X, a school record of 31 games, and qualified for their first appearance in the NJCAA Division II World Series in Clinton, Mississippi, and finished the season ranked No. 19 in the country. Caudle was also a member of the 2010 Class 2-A State Championship volleyball team at Starmount and played on a softball team that reached the Class 2-A Final Four.
SCC Athletic Director Mark Tucker remembered Caudle as having a positive impact during her two years in Dobson. He said scholarships like this will continue to remind people of what Caudle did on the field and outside of it.
“We are extremely grateful to the Caudle family for establishing this scholarship in her memory,” Tucker said. “It will ensure that Sydney’s legacy lives on by assisting Starmount students to pursue their educational and athletic goals. It will keep Sydney’s memory alive. I hope the recipients will understand the importance of the gift and understand what Sydney was all about.”
Surry softball coach Blaine Bullington said he remembers Caudle for being a fun-loving person.
“She worked hard and always wanted to get better,” Bullington said. “She was full of life. She always had something going on with the players and the coaches. She was just a bright spot for everybody. She was sunshine every day. We could always count on her to make us laugh and smile. We were fortunate that Sydney chose to attend Surry, and we were lucky to have her on our team.”
While she was fun-loving off the field, Bullington said Caudle was a fierce competitor when she stepped on the field, adding that she was not afraid to work hard.
“We put her in the outfield right away here, and she used her feet and quickness to be her best,” Bullington said. “She would do what it took to make the whole team better, and that’s the kind of player you want on your team and in the field.”
Outside of softball, Bullington wants people to know the impact Caudle had on every person she encountered.
“The big thing is to know that Sydney touched a lot of people, and she is going to continue to do so through this scholarship,” Bullington said. “She would be proud of this, and if there is a bright spot, this scholarship would be it. It is difficult for the family, and it has been tough on Surry softball too. We are glad that she was a part of our program, and she will continue to be, moving forward. We are excited about the scholarship, but it is not in the way we would want it to happen. She had a bright future, and we are thankful for her and the time we had with her. I’m happy that the family is doing this, but I know that it has been tough on them to lose Sydney.”
Donations for the scholarship have come from multiple sources, notably a large gift from Andy Anderson, Caudle’s grandfather and a member of SCC’s Board of Trustees. Other donations have come from family members, friends of Caudle and SCC.
“Our family wanted to do something meaningful and impactful to memorialize Sydney,” Chris and Julia Caudle, Sydney’s parents, said in a statement. “We want to thank Andy for his generosity and efforts in making this scholarship a reality, along with every single person who has contributed to keeping Sydney’s memory alive for years to come. We hope it will help young women from Yadkin County succeed on and off of the field.”
Additionally, a handful of gifts have come from National Agents Alliance, aka The Alliance, an insurance marketing organization headquartered in Burlington. Mac Heffner, Sydney’s cousin and a former student at SCC, is employed as The Alliance’s press secretary and manages the company’s Good Samaritan Bonus (GSB) gifting program.
Heffner said the GSB program allows agents to earn $100 to $350 checks for charities and non-profit organizations on a monthly basis by hitting sales and recruiting goals. The program has gifted more than $400,000 since its inception. In 2017, The Alliance awarded 861 GSB checks on behalf of its agents and donated more than $150,000 to charities.
Members of The Alliance from Arizona, Michigan and North Carolina awarded checks that totaled $1,000 toward the Sydney Caudle Memorial Scholarship. Beth Ireland, of Hamptonville, was one of the agents who supported the scholarship through the GSB program. She is a family friend of the Caudles and learned about the scholarship from Heffner during a visit to The Alliance.
Andy Albright, president and CEO of The Alliance, started the GSB program in 2013, and said being able to support causes like the Sydney Caudle Memorial Scholarship is exactly what he had in mind when he launched the effort.
“We know that Sydney was important to a lot of people and was loved dearly,” Albright said. “We were happy to learn about some of our agents selecting this scholarship to receive GSB checks because we know it means a lot to her family and to the young student-athletes it will help for years to come. Most people never get to experience the feeling of being able to give money to charities, and I wanted to create a chance for more people to be able to do so.”
For more information on applying for this scholarship or making a contribution, contact Marion Venable, executive director, Surry Community College Foundation, 630 South Main St., Dobson, NC 27017, 336-386-3269 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions can be made online at surry.edu – Charitable Giving.