History of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program

In 1987, the first year of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program, the founders had one simple goal: Raise enough money for one college scholarship for one student.


They succeeded. Their Pro-Am golf tournament at the Connestee Falls golf course brought in $5,000, and they wrote their first scholarship check. The recipient of that scholarship now works as a system analyst at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD). The volunteer group then set its sights on helping more students and set up the non-profit Student Scholarship Program.


Just how successful has the Program been? Over the last 30 plus years, it has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and helped hundreds of Transylvania County residents afford their dreams of continuing their educations. In 2019 alone, financial support came from more than 200 donors and businesses, and a total of $111,000 was awarded for scholarships which are being given out in 2020.

Each year, scholarship funds are distributed equally among Transylvania County Schools, Brevard College and Blue Ridge Community College. The Student Scholarship Program has just one stipulation for the awards: Scholarship recipients must be residents of Transylvania County.


All three school systems consider academic merit and financial need in determining who receives a scholarship. BRCC makes awards through its Financial Aid and Scholarship Committee. For Brevard College, the Connestee Falls Scholarship is an integral component of the “Brevard Scholarship” initiative. At Rosman and Brevard High Schools and Davidson River School, graduating seniors are encouraged to apply for Connestee Falls scholarships. Scholarship winners from these high schools have enrolled in colleges and universities in North Carolina and out-of-state. Their majors include music, history, public health, nursing, sports medicine, education, broadcasting, architecture, advanced manufacturing, building and construction, computer and information technology, and small business services.

None of this would be possible without the continued, enthusiastic support of Connestee Falls residents, the Connestee Falls Property Owners Association and administrative staff, and the business owners and residents of Brevard and Transylvania County. Hayleigh Mann, one of the Program’s scholarship recipients, has described the effect of donor and volunteer participation in the Program this way: “Donors and volunteers join the students and serve as their partners in the pursuit of excellence.”

Over the years, twenty-five Connestee Falls residents have led the Student Scholarship Program either as chairs or co-chairs. Dozens of other Connestee Falls residents have served on committees that plan the fundraising events and activities. This includes the annual Celebration of Education Gala and the golf tournament in September, Casino Night, special performances by the Chorale and CATS, and the tennis, bocce and pickleball tournaments scheduled from July through September.

The Student Scholarship Program believes that saying “thank you” to its donors is extremely important. The biggest way – literally – is through the massive Sponsor Board at the entrance to the Connestee Falls Golf Course and Clubhouse. Donors are publicly thanked also in the Transylvania Times, in the Celebration of Education Gala program, and on this website.


Because of the generosity of several donors in 2018, the Scholarship Program now has an endowment, which will allow for the funding of scholarships for Transylvania County students into the future through a variety of estate planning tools.

Please help us support more students by giving to the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program. For more information, email cfscholarship@gmail.com, or call 828-885-2001. You can also donate securely on this website.