WINTERVILLE—More than seven years after the Linwood and Vannie Rouse Estate made a sizeable contribution to the Pitt Community College Foundation, the endowed scholarship it created is helping Pitt County high school graduates achieve their college goals.
As longtime supporters of the Winterville community, Linwood and Vannie Rouse were very active in church and civic affairs. They also recognized the value of education and made a $400,000-planned gift with the PCC Foundation to support Pitt County students who attend PCC.
Several months after Vannie’s passing in April 2015 at age 93 – Linwood passed away 22 years earlier at 78 – the Linwood and Vannie Rouse Endowed Scholarship was officially established. This year, 23 members of the Class of 2023, representing seven different Pitt County public and private high schools, received $1,000-scholarships from the endowment to help them pay for PCC tuition and fees during the 2023 Fall Semester. The recipients were:
- Ayden-Grifton – Daniel Styron, Camila Torres and Noah Williams
- D.H. Conley – Gabriel Addison, Ryan Gillikin, Collin Grant, Emily-Rose Haddock Connor Smith, Sarah Swing, Jay Vazquez-Soto and Hailey Wright
- Greenville Christian Academy – Gavin Jublou
- J.H. Rose – Aubry Wahlen
- North Pitt – Natalie Casanova, Kaitlyn Dunn and Saria Tripp
- Pitt County Early College – Nazmya Awadallah and Payton Moore
- South Central – Landon Amos, Sydney Anglen, Samantha Bryant, Evan Duke and Jenna Khalil
Per scholarship guidelines, all of this year’s recipients are Pitt County residents who qualify for in-state tuition. They had at least a 2.5 high school GPA and must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA at Pitt.
A Winterville native, Linwood Rouse graduated from high school in 1931 and would serve as a Seabee in the U.S. Navy during WWII. While stationed off Guadalcanal, his father sent him books on construction, which would form the foundation for a career in the field. After returning home from the war and obtaining his licensing, Linwood established Rouse Construction Company and would go on to build numerous homes, commercial buildings and churches in the Pitt County area for years to come.
A leader in the Winterville Kiwanis and Ruritan clubs, Rouse was a superb cook—the “down east fish fry” was his specialty—who used his culinary talents to host large-scale fundraisers for civic clubs and churches. He served a term on the Pitt County Memorial Hospital Board in the 1970s and was an active member of Winterville Christian Church before passing away in 1993.
Vannie Rouse, who grew up in Sanford, was a child of The Great Depression. Though she left school early to take care of her invalid mother and help raise her five siblings, Vannie’s lack of formal education left a void in her life but never dimmed her desire to learn and succeed. It actually ended up helping her develop an acute appreciation for the value of learning.
Linwood and Vannie married in 1969 and resided in Winterville. They enjoyed traveling and were known to pull off the interstate at various locations and spend several hours making new friends with those they encountered.
Unable to have kids of her own, Vannie became a second mother/grandmother to the children and grandchildren of her many friends. She always stressed to them the importance of a good education and the value of a strong work ethic.
Vannie’s ardent support of education led her to arrange the creation of several perpetual scholarships across the state. As a result, she and her husband have positively impacted the lives of many North Carolinians – and will continue to do so for many years to come.