WSSU alumnus establishes endowed scholarship fund that honors three entities

Donation is among largest from a single graduate

A Winston-Salem State University alumnus is giving back to his college and helping his high school in the process.

Dr. Clayton Scott of Statesville, a 1976 graduate of WSSU, has established a scholarship to help students from Statesville High School to further their education at his alma mater.

The Dr. Clayton A. Scott #Mike Murrell Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships to graduates of Statesville High School who plan to attend WSSU. The scholarships are $1,000 per student per academic year, and applicants must have a 3.0 GPA.

The awards may be renewable with satisfactory academic progress and good disciplinary standing as established by the WSSU Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Scott said a school counselor at Statesville High School encouraged him to apply for a scholarship from the R.J. Reynolds Corporation when he was a senior, which led to him receiving a full four-year scholarship to WSSU.

“I’m giving back because of what was given to me. R.J. Reynolds provided me with a full four-year scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University,” Scott said. “It is my goal to be able to reciprocate to others.”

The scholarship is named after Scott’s best friend and fraternity brother, Mike Morrell. The two met at WSSU their freshmen year and became the best of friends for life. “He was my line brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. We were like peanut butter and jelly. When you saw one, you always saw the other,” Scott said.

Murrell died of COVID-19 in 2020. A popular restaurateur in Atlanta, he owned and operated Murrell’s Café.

“This is my way of honoring him,” Scott said.

The scholarship was officially established in 2021 with a $100,000 investment. Since then, Scott, who is a member of the WSSU Foundation Board of Directors, has designated all his annuities to WSSU at a tune of $1.5 million, making him one of the largest alumni donors in the history of the university.

“Dr. Scott’s commitment to the students of WSSU is unparalleled. His selfless act of generosity will benefit our community in perpetuity. We are so grateful,” said Dr. LaTanya Afolayan, vice chancellor for University Advancement at WSSU.

“Dr. Scott continues to personify our motto of ‘Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,’” said Marcus Cox, chair of the Winston-Salem State University Foundation Board of Directors. “He serves as a beacon of how our esteemed alums give back and invest in the genius we cultivate at Winston-Salem State University — well done, sir.”

After graduating from WSSU with a degree in political science and a minor in Spanish, Scott continued his education at Ohio State University, Cheyney University and Temple University. He earned his doctorate degree at Stanford University.

He spent his entire career in education, having retired from the School District of Philadelphia.  In 2018, he relocated back home to Statesville, where he volunteers at Statesville Senior High. 

“The counselors there are thrilled that I’m giving back to the students and a scholarship fund. The goal is to one day offer a student a full ride,” Scott said. 

Helping his high school and his college alma maters with the single scholarship is like “killing one bird with two stones,” he said figuratively.

Actually, it’s three stones – if you count honoring his best friend in the process.