Scholarship awarded in memory of Meme Brown

Michael Bragg

The first Meme McKensie Brown Memorial Scholarship was awarded at the College of Health Sciences annual scholarship reception Sept. 18 in Plemmons Student Union.

The scholarship, awarded to senior nursing major Haley Epps, was started by recently retired Appalachian State University academic adviser Shirley Harris in honor of Meme Brown, an Appalachian pre-nursing student who died in October 2012 of ovarian cancer, Harris said.

Harris said the goal of the scholarship is to give $500 annually to nursing students trying to rise above a challenge, whether it is a financial, health or family issue.

Linda Johanson, interim chair of the Department of Nursing, said students applying for the scholarship had to write an essay, not exceeding three pages, which was then read and reviewed by the department’s student affairs committee.

“I want to get this scholarship endowed, so that it will generate $500 each year into perpetuity forever,” Harris said.

Meme was a 21-year-old Boonville native who battled the disease for years after she discovered she was sick in 2009, her senior year of high school, according to

“Here was Meme, getting through chemo, time and again, dealing with all that was going on, and she always had an incredible smile and positive attitude,” Harris said.

Meme’s birthday and the first anniversary of her death both fall in the month of October, Harris said.

Harris said students who wish to contribute to the fund should contact Suzette Mauney, the College of Health Sciences Director of Development, and that groups may directly contact Harris herself.

“This is a special way to honor an extraordinary person and we look forward to the opportunity to award a nursing scholarship each year in honor of Meme,” said Fred Whitt, dean of the College of Health Sciences. 

Story: NICOLE CAPORASO, Intern News Reporter