ETSU’s Clemmer College of Education received an endowment of about $1.25 million from the sister of a former ETSU alumna for scholarships in the College of Education after she passed away last year.

Angela Lewis, dean of the College of Education, said this is one of the largest gifts the college has received and expects the college will soon be ready to provide incoming students with scholarship money.

“The college is currently doing an assessment of student needs and current scholarship availability to ascertain specifically how these scholarships can be used most effectively to meet the most pressing needs of students,” Lewis said by email. “We are grateful to the donor that has allowed us this latitude in determining how the scholarships will be used to best serve our students.”

Inez DeLaughter, the donor who made the gift to the university, specified that the money should be used exclusively in the College of Education for the creation of scholarships and that the scholarships should be named after Nelle Jesse, her sister.

DeLaughter also requested the scholarships include a GPA requirement and financial need requirement.

Lewis said the college intends to offer several large scholarships on a yearly basis using a beginning balance of $40,000.

Recipients will be expected to reapply each year, and the college is planning to offer the first scholarships in fall 2015.

Director of University Advancement Karen Sullivan said DeLaughter reached out to the university about two or three years ago to tell them she was writing her will and desired to donate 50 percent of her estate when she died to the ETSU College of Education in honor of her sister.

Jesse received her degree from ETSU in 1952 and eventually returned to the university to receive her master’s degree from the College of Education.

Sullivan said this gift by the estate will help students graduate from the College of Education and expects the donation will be helpful in drawing students to ETSU.

“This is a huge gift,” Sullivan said. “I think this does make the university as a whole, certainly specifically the College of Education, more attractive.”