A month before he died, Robert Odell Burkhart learned that his grandson had established a scholarship in his honor at Catawba College.
Barry Leonard said he wanted to honor his grandfather, who was 99 when he died, and grandmother, the late Nellie Styers Burkhart, to show his appreciation for them.His grandfather had only ``three winters of education' at a one-room schoolhouse, Leonard said, but he had encouraged his grandson as he worked his way through Catawba College in Salisbury.
``My grandparents raised my brothers and me,' Leonard said. ``I thought the world of them and thought this was an excellent way of letting my grandfather know that I wanted to remember him.
``This is something that will be permanent, that will be there for as long as the school is there,' he said. ``It's a way of recognizing him for his influence and support and inspiration.'
The Robert Odell and Nellie Styers Burkhart Endowed Scholarship was established with a gift of $25,000.
Preference for the scholarship will be given to students who are members of Second United Church of Christ in Lexington and Peace United Church of Christ in Greensboro.
Preference then goes to students from Nazareth Children's Home in Rockwell and Elon Children's Home in Elon College.
Leonard, a 1965 Catawba graduate, is on Catawba's Board of Visitors.
He is president of Leonard and Co., Certified Public Accountants in Greensboro.
A past elder and officer of Peace United Church of Christ, he also is past president of the Crescent Rotary Club of Greensboro.
He is a member of the N.C. Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs.