Dear NC Elite Volleyball Club Community,
NC Elite is humbly honored to announce the Andrea Harris Memorial Scholarship. Andrea Harris, co-founder of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (know as "The Institute"), spent her professional life helping to build businesses owned by women and minorities in North Carolina and was an advocate for marginalized and disenfranchised communities and entrepreneurs through policy, education and opportunities.
Over her career, Miss Harris received numerous awards, including multiple Order of the Long Leaf Pine awards, and in 2014 was named the Lifetime Achievement Winner in Triangle Business Journal's Leaders in Diversity Awards. NC Governor Roy Cooper described Andrea as a "trailblazer who never stopped fighting for social and racial equity", and said of Andrea, "When doors were intentionally shut, she broke through for women and minority-owned businesses to succeed, modeled excellence in advocacy and mentored scores of freedom fighters."
Andrea was born on July 2, 1948 in Sumter, South Carolina, and grew up in Henderson, NC. She graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro. Andrea passed away on May 20, 2020.
I had the honor and privilege of working alongside Andrea as we served together on the National Advisory Board of the Institute for Emerging Issues at NCSU. NC Elite has founded the Andrea Harris Memorial Scholarship to honor her work as an advocate for women and minorities, and advance her convictions through our work at NC Elite. More details about the Andrea Harris memorial Scholarship will be released soon.
Sandra Merkel DeJames
Founder and President, NC Elite Volleyball Club