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R. Wayne Gray scholarship fund established at Outer Banks Community Foundation

A new scholarship fund will help students who graduate from College of The Albemarle and who transfer to a four-year college or university. The R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established in honor of R. Wayne Gray, a well-known Wanchese native, poet, historian, restaurateur and educator, by his wife Nancy and their children Keil Samson, Rheana Watts and Beach Gray. The fund will assist Dare County residents who graduate from COA and who plan to continue their education at a four-year college or university.

Gray taught English at COA from 2008 to 2018. It was his third career after first teaching at Dare County Schools and then owning and operating Queen Anne’s Revenge restaurant in Wanchese. While at COA, Gray led the International Club and the Literary Club, guiding his students to publish two collections of locally researched articles on Outer Banks history. Gray also helped several students continue their education after COA, which led to transfers and four-year degrees from Yale, Mount Holyoke and other colleges and universities.

The first scholarships will be awarded from the fund in 2022. Anyone can make a donation by going to https://obcf.org/r-wayne-gray-scholarship-fund/.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer a scholarship opportunity for students who are graduates of College of The Albemarle and who want to pursue a four-year degree,” said interim executive director Bob Muller. “We see this as an important step forward in assisting students who otherwise might struggle to find funding in their third and fourth years of college, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the Grays for their passion for education, forward thinking, and generosity.”

The First Annual R. Wayne Gray Memorial Scholarship Fried Shrimp Dinner will take place on Friday, August 13 from 4-7 p.m. at Bethany United Methodist Church, located at 101 Old Wharf Road in Wanchese. The drive-through dinner will feature fried shrimp and locally sourced menu items reminiscent of Queen Anne’s Revenge, including posh squash, red potatoes and zucchini muffins. Proceeds from the event will benefit the new scholarship fund.

For more information on contributing to or establishing a fund, call the Outer Banks Community Foundation at 252-261-8839.

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