Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory Awards SAS Scholarship

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Rachel Keck SAS Scholarship 2016 - 2At the May 12th meeting of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, Rotarian Thomas Griffis announced the winner of the 2016 Service Above Self scholarship. Rachel Elizabeth Keck is this year’s recipient of the four year college scholarship.

Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory recognizes the value of a good education. Since 2005, thirty-two students have received SAS scholarships, totaling over $205,000. SAS recipients have attended Appalachian State University, Davidson College, Duke University, East Carolina University, Furman University, Gardner Webb University, Lenoir Rhyne University, University of Alabama, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, and Catawba Valley Community College, among others.

As the Service Above Self scholarship winner from Hickory High School’s class of 2016, Rachel will receive Rotary’s financial aid toward her college tuition. Due to the continued financial success and popularity of Rotarian Idol, the SAS scholarship was increased in 2015 from $10,000 to $12,000. The increase allows the SAS scholarship recipient to receive $3,000 per year for college costs. The total scholarship is now $12,000, payable over four years.

Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s Service Above Self scholarship rewards students who excel in the classroom, are recognized by teachers as leaders and who volunteer to serve others through community service, church activities and more.

To qualify for a Service Above Self scholarship, candidates must consistently demonstrate their service to others, be in the top 20 percent of their class and lead by example. During the candidate’s interviews, students are evaluated on traditional scholarship standards: grades, overall grade point average and class rank. What sets the SAS scholarship apart from many others is that each honored student must demonstrate how they serve their community.

Rachel’s high school career has been an impressive mix of outstanding scholarship, leadership and service. In addition to the rigors of the International Baccalaureate program, she is a member of Interact, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Science National Honors Society, and Key Club.  Rachel has served as a tutor at Centro Latino and participated in numerous service activities through her church, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, including buying, packaging, and delivering food to needy families with Micah’s Cupboard.

Rachel will attend Furman University this fall.  She plans to specialize in nutrition or environmental sustainability.

Scholarship funding is made possible by the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s successful fundraising activities, including the annual Rotarian Idol competition. The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s ongoing commitment of financial support continues to provide necessary educational assistance locally, and is consistent with the club’s continued commitment to and financial support of local educational initiatives.

The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. In adherence to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” the club has a history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, visit


General Info

  • Meeting Time:
    Thursdays from 12:00PM to 1:15PM
  • Meeting Location:
    430 17th Avenue NW,
    Hickory, North Carolina 28601