Martha Guy Educational Fund Scholarship

Martha Guy was a banker, volunteer, and a philanthropist but most importantly a beloved member of the Avery County community. The daughter of a banker, Martha grew up in Newland, NC. Her father started the Avery County Bank in 1913. She was one of six siblings and had no desire to work in the family business.

Martha attended Lees-McRae College for two years and then transferred to UNC Chapel Hill. She was one of 600 women on campus and earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As she began her graduate studies’ she was called home. Her brothers were fighting in WWII, and she returned to Avery County in 1943 to work with her father at the bank. As Martha’s interest in banking grew, she quickly became a pioneer for women in banking ultimately becoming the bank’s President. She built a reputation as a strong business woman and served on a variety of national banking committees and associations. She retired in 2003 after spending 61 years at the bank, 25 as President.

Martha remained involved in her community especially in educational institutions. She had a passion for supporting education until her death in 2019 and established this scholarship to provide educational opportunities to the citizens of Avery County. This scholarship is intended to support traditional and non-traditional students who want to better themselves in hopes that, as they do, they will also give back their communities.


One-time $3,500

Number Of Awards

Two Awards


March 1, 2024


Students who are residents of Avery County and:

  • will graduate or has graduated from Avery County High School, a charter school in Avery county, or a certified homeschool program in Avery County or has completed their GED.
  • must plan to attend a US community or junior college, a trade or vocational school, a four-year college or university, a graduate or post graduate program at an accredited university or other courses of study may be considered.
  • must be enrolled full-time as defined by the university or institution or part-time if the student is taking more than one-half of the required hours to be considered a full-time student.

CFWNC ensures that all scholarship recipients are selected on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis and that selections are based on specific guidelines and criteria for each fund.

Selection Criteria

  • Residence of Avery County
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Good academic standing
  • Involvement in community service (school and community), extracurricular activities, and/or work experience
  • Strong moral character

To Apply

To apply, students must complete an application online. The application, with required attachments, must be submitted online on or before the deadline. Award Year 2024 closed.

Application Procedure

The scholarship program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Please direct any questions about this scholarship to the Foundation's Scholarship Officer, Lezette Parks, at

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