Freeman Fund Provides Scholarship Assistance to Eight Area High School Students

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Four Recipients to Attend Gardner-Webb

2017 Freeman Scholarship winners
Winners of the 2017 Freeman Scholarships are, from left, Grace Love, Bailey Davis, Hunter Leclercq, Ragaen Gamble, Caleb Carroll, Hannah Green and Austin Hughes. Not pictured is Brianna Mullinax.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. –  Since 1991, the Joseph B. Freeman, Jr. Education Fund has assisted Cleveland County students annually in their pursuit of higher education. On Wednesday, May 31, eight students were named the recipients of this year’s Freeman Fund. This year, $16,000 in scholarship funds will be provided to these students, and four of them are planning to attend Gardner-Webb University this fall.

The Freeman Fund was named in honor of longtime area business leader, Joseph B. Freeman, Jr. At the time of his death in 1991, Freeman managed the Shelby, N.C., office of Interstate/Johnson Lane, an investment and financial advisory service. He was an advocate for higher education and desired to provide talented high school students with additional resources and opportunities to attend college. The education fund was established to reward Cleveland County students for their perseverance and dedication in and out of the classroom, while recognizing Freeman’s legacy of support.

Angie Freeman Short, right, the daughter of the late Joseph B. Freeman, talks with recipient Caleb Carroll
Angie Freeman Short, right, the daughter of the late Joseph B. Freeman, talks with recipient Caleb Carroll, center, and his family.

Freeman Fund recipients are awarded based on academic proficiency, extracurricular activities, internal motivation, potential success, and financial need. The Freeman Fund Committee consists of area business leaders and Gardner-Webb University representatives who evaluate worthy candidates. This year, 24 area students applied for the scholarship funds.

The late Ed Hamilton was a founding committee member and served as president of First National Bank of Shelby. When this fund was established, Hamilton noted, “This is an incredible opportunity for us to lend a helping hand to young people who have a promising future but need a way to get started. The first step is often the most difficult one to take.”

2016 Joseph B. Freeman Scholarship Recipients:


High School

University Attending

Intended Major

Caleb Carroll

Kings Mountain

UNC Chapel Hill


Bailey Davis

Burns High School



Ragaen Gamble

Kings Mountain

UNC Charlotte


Hannah Green



Psychology and Music

Austin Hughes



Business Administration

Hunter Leclercq

Kings Mountain

N.C. State

Plant Biology

Grace Love




Brianna Mullinax





Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at