DOBSON — Surry Community College has announced a new scholarship in memory of a former athlete who died last summer.
Starmount graduate Sydney Caudle, just 22 years old, was a stand-out student and athlete both in high school and at SCC who has inspired many fond memories among those who knew her, said the college.
Now, ten months after her death last June in a car accident, her family is doing its part to ensure her name lives on at the college, as well as helps others wishing to follow in her footsteps as a student-athlete.
The Sydney Caudle Memorial Scholarship will allow a graduate of Starmount to attend SCC, with tuition and books covered on an annual basis. Resident tuition at the college is about $2,600 with fees and books adding to that total. The Caudle family plans to award a second scholarship annually so that potentially a freshman and sophomore would earn a scholarship annually and continue their athletic careers.
She played softball, volleyball and basketball at Starmount. She was a member of the 2010 2A state championship volleyball team at Starmount and played on a softball team that reached the 2A Final Four.
After graduation, she joined SCC and earned the status of Division II All-Region outfielder. In 2015, the Knights won their conference, a school record of 31 games, and qualified for their first appearance in the NJCAA Division II World Series in Clinton, Mississippi, and finished the season ranked No. 19 in the country.
SCC Athletic Director Mark Tucker remembered Caudle as having a positive impact during her two years in Dobson. He said scholarships like this will continue to remind people of what Caudle did on and off the field.
“We are extremely grateful to the Caudle family for establishing this scholarship in her memory,” Tucker said. “It will ensure that Sydney’s legacy lives on by assisting Starmount students to pursue their educational and athletic goals. It will keep Sydney’s memory alive. I hope the recipients will understand the importance of the gift and understand what Sydney was all about.”
SCC softball coach Blaine Bullington said he remembers Caudle for being a fun-loving person.
“She worked hard and always wanted to get better,” Bullington said. “She was full of life. She always had something going on with the players and the coaches. She was just a bright spot for everybody. She was sunshine every day. We could always count on her to make us laugh and smile. We were fortunate that Sydney chose to attend Surry, and we were lucky to have her on our team.”
While she was fun-loving off the field, Bullington said Caudle was a fierce competitor when she stepped on the field, adding that she was not afraid to work hard.
“We put her in the outfield right away here, and she used her feet and quickness to be her best,” Bullington said. “She would do what it took to make the whole team better, and that’s the kind of player you want on your team and in the field.”
Outside of softball, Bullington wants people to know the impact Caudle had on every person she encountered.
“The big thing is to know that Sydney touched a lot of people, and she is going to continue to do so through this scholarship,” Bullington said. “She would be proud of this, and if there is a bright spot, this scholarship would be it. It is difficult for the family, and it has been tough on Surry softball too.
“We are glad that she was a part of our program, and she will continue to be, moving forward. We are excited about the scholarship, but it is not in the way we would want it to happen. She had a bright future, and we are thankful for her and the time we had with her. I’m happy that the family is doing this, but I know that it has been tough on them to lose Sydney.”
Donations for the scholarship have come from multiple sources, notably a large gift from Andy Anderson, Caudle’s grandfather and a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. Other donations have come from family members, friends of Caudle and Surry Community College.
“Our family wanted to do something meaningful and impactful to memorialize Sydney,” Chris and Julia Caudle, Sydney’s parents, said in a statement. “We want to thank Andy for his generosity and efforts in making this scholarship a reality, along with every single person who has contributed to keeping Sydney’s memory alive for years to come. We hope it will help young women from Yadkin County succeed on and off of the field.”
For more information on applying for this scholarship or making a contribution, contact Marion Venable, executive director, Surry Community College Foundation, 630 South Main St., Dobson, N.C. 27017, (336) 386-3269 or [email protected] Contributions can be made online at surry.edu – Charitable Giving.