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Major Gifts Expand NC Wesleyan Honors Program

Rocky Mount, N.C.—The Honors Program at North Carolina Wesleyan College has been renamed The Taylor-Crocker Honors Program in recognition of major financial commitments to the program by two Rocky Mount couples—Roger G. and Gaile Davenport Taylor and Dr. Daniel L. and Brenda Lynch Crocker. The announcement came during the college’s May 3 Commencement ceremony.

Originally named for the Taylors in 2010, the Honors Program was renamed to reflect the commitment of support from both the Taylors and the Crockers that will reach a total of $400,000 over five years. Their gifts are being made through the college’s Strength of Heart capital campaign.

The Taylors will continue to support the overall operation of the Honors Program, which includes nearly 50 students, and in addition will provide a John and Charles Wesley Heritage Scholarship to an Honors Program student. The scholarship fully underwrites tuition, room, board, and books for entering freshmen and transfer students.

The Crockers will also provide a full Heritage Scholarship and will fund the new Dr. James Durant Melton Outdoor Leadership Awards Program. This will allow up to 12 Honors students a year to enroll in a customized, five-day outdoor leadership program of the North Carolina Outward Bound School in Linville Gorge in the North Carolina mountains. The inaugural course will take place May 25-29.

“We enjoy supporting these high-achieving young people and are thrilled that Dan and Brenda Crocker have joined us in supporting the Honors Program,” Roger Taylor said. Taylor is a 1970 graduate of NC Wesleyan and a long-time member of its Board of Trustees. “Adding the Wesley Heritage Scholarships and Outward Bound programs will make the Honors Program experience even more significant for these students.”

Dr. Crocker, who also serves as a Wesleyan trustee and chairs the board’s Development Committee, agreed. “Brenda and I have been donors at Wesleyan for many years, but this involvement with the Honors Program is a capstone for us. We believe that the outdoors can be a powerful classroom for young people, and our partnership with the North Carolina Outward Bound School makes that classroom accessible for Wesleyan students. We hope that it is a life-changing experience that they will never forget. Dr. Melton and I have enjoyed wilderness adventures for many years, and I’m so happy to be able to honor him in this way.”

Wesleyan President Jim Gray said, “I am so excited about this additional support for our Honors Program students. The Taylors and Crockers have supported us generously for many years, and this brings their gifts into sharp focus. Students’ lives will be changed for the better through their generosity.”

For more about the Honors Program, visit