FRIENDS, FAMILY OF MARTHA QUEEN ENDOW                                                                                      

Image: Friends and family of the late Martha Cabe Queen of Jackson County
Friends and family of the late Martha Cabe Queen of Jackson County gather to celebrate the establishment of a $10,000 scholarship fund for social work students at Western Carolina University. From left to right are family friend Myrtle Schrader; son Nathan Queen; Terry Gibson, head of Western's department of social work; son Blake Queen, a graduate student at Western; mother Lucille Bryson; Brett Woods, director of annual and special gifts at Western; and family friend Joyce Cooper.

CULLOWHEE – Family and friends of the late Martha Cabe Queen, a longtime employee of the Jackson County Department of Social Services, have established a $10,000 endowed scholarship at Western Carolina University for students majoring in social work.

“We are delighted that the first award will be given for the upcoming spring 2006 semester,” said Queen's mother, Lucille Bryson of Sylva.

Queen, who earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Western in 1979 and her master's degree in public affairs from Western in 1997, served as a Jackson County School Board member for eight years and chairperson for four years. A former deputy clerk of court in Jackson County, she was employed for 21 years with the Jackson County Department of Social Services, beginning as a child support enforcement agent and later as a social worker in children's services.

She helped establish the county's after-school program, the Family Resource Center and Smart Start. As a founding member of REACH of Jackson County, Queen was instrumental in the establishment of numerous organizations advocating for women as well as children. In 2000, the North Carolina Women's Coalition named her one of the 10 most outstanding women in Western North Carolina. She died in 2002.

“Martha dedicated her life's work to helping children and families in our region succeed by making sure they had access to every resource available. She was filled with compassion and a deep sense of service to her community and friends. Martha was a true inspiration to everyone who knew her and was touched by her passion for life,” said Jennifer Abshire, social work supervisor with Jackson County DSS.

“Because of Martha's inspiration and advocacy, her friends and family have established this scholarship in her memory,” said long-time friend and scholarship organizer Joyce Cooper.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a full-time junior or senior at Western majoring in social work or studying in the master's degree program and in good academic standing with the university. Each recipient must be a graduate of a Western North Carolina high school and must demonstrate community service.

Applications are available from Terry Gibson, head of Western's department of social work. For more information, call (828) 227-3897 or e-mail .

Contributions to continue the Martha Cabe Queen Scholarship are tax deductible and may be sent to Brett Woods, director of annual and special gifts, 408 H.F. Robinson Administration Building, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C. 28723; telephone (828) 227-7124.

“By investing in the Martha Cabe Queen Scholarship Fund, contributors will be joining with Western Carolina University in honoring Martha's legacy and in educating tomorrow's leaders in the social work field and helping them create better lives for the people they serve,” said Cooper.

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Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Western Carolina University