Bricen Duff and Abigail Parnell are UNC Pembroke’s 2020 Maynor Honors College scholars.
Considered the most prestigious four-year scholarship, the Maynor Honors Scholarship pays tuition, fees, books, room and board and is named for the late Esther G. Maynor, a Pembroke native and one of the university’s biggest supporters.
A standout student at Edgecombe Early College High School, Duff chose UNCP after receiving acceptance letters from seven other universities. He came to Pembroke to study business administration and to pursue his passion for marketing.
“It’s an honor to be selected as a Maynor Honors Scholar. I was sitting in one of my classes when I received the email. When I saw it, I began to tear up. I was so excited. This is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me!” Duff said.
An exceptional illustrator from Robeson County, Parnell was attracted to UNCP’s art program and is looking forward to sharpening her skills over the next four years and, ultimately, carving out a career path in either graphic design or studio art. Like Duff, Parnell was a few weeks into her freshman year this summer when she learned she was selected.
“I was really worried because I applied for many scholarships and this was the last one I applied for,” Parnell said. “I wanted to help my mom eliminate some of this debt. So, when I received the email, I was very happy. My mother has been helping me out so much, so it’s really cool to be able to help her in this way.”
Duff and Parnell both excelled academically in high school and kept busy with service-oriented projects at school and in the community. Duff served as the Early College representative on the Student Government Association board and was an ECC Ambassador and was vice president of Phi Theta Kappa.
Parnell was president of the Art Club and National Honor Society at St. Pauls High and volunteered at the local elementary school and soup kitchen. At UNCP, she’s looking to join art-focused organizations, while Duff has been elected as the sophomore representative of the Maynor Student Honors Council and is interested in joining the Student Government Association.
As members of the Honors College, Duff and Parnell benefit from interdisciplinary seminars and discipline-specific honors courses taught by distinguished faculty members. Such courses enhance the general education curriculum, facilitate academic and personal growth and encourage the interdisciplinary exploration of ideas. Honors students also gain a sense of community through shared residential facilities as well as cultural and service-learning programs. The scholarship was first awarded in 2007.
“I am so pleased that the Esther G. Maynor Scholarship can support Abigail Parnell and Bricen Duff. They are outstanding, deserving students, and I look forward to following their careers at UNCP as Maynor Honors Scholars. I’m sure we can look forward to great things from them as they pursue their interests and discover new ones in the years ahead,” said Dr. Teagan Decker, dean of the Maynor Honors College.