2009 Yogi Crowe Scholarship Report

by Jan 12, 2010COMMUNITY sgadugi0 comments

2009 Annual Report to Contributors and Past Grant Recipients of

Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund


An Expression of Appreciation

By Carmaleta L. Monteith, Ph.D.,

President of the Board of Directors

For the past 25 years, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), and loyal supporters, have had numerous opportunities to celebrate the life of a special young man through the gift of giving. This celebration of life is acknowledged each time each of us gives to the scholarship fund that was created in memory of Richard (Yogi) Crowe.  Many of you that contribute to the Fund did not know Yogi, but you contribute to the Fund knowing it will help deserving Cherokee graduate students achieve their educational goals.  We are truly appreciative of your financial support as we continue to honor Yogi’s memory.

Yogi did not have the gift of prophesy to know that the EBCI would become owners of a casino that was created for the purpose of providing year round jobs for the first time in our tribe’s history. Before the casino, our economy was based on tourists coming to Cherokee during the warmer months.  During the winters, businesses were closed and so were the opportunities for gainful employment of tribal members.

For our tribe to prosper, Yogi realized the value of his own formal education and was an advocate for higher education for our tribal members. With his commitment, he created the desire for others to follow his lead.

While our community still depends on an economy of tourism, tribal programs have grown to meet the needs of our members and require professional degrees to effectively manage the programs. Our tribal programs and enterprises require a workforce of highly skilled and educated individuals requiring advanced degrees.

It is our Board’s commitment to continue Yogi’s legacy of promoting and supporting graduate studies for members of our tribe. We appreciate the opportunity of being stewards of this very important endeavor and are most appreciative to those of you who continue to support our work through your generous donations.

May the next 25 years bring health and happiness to your families as we work together to fulfill the legacy of Yogi Crowe, who cared deeply for the well being of his people.




CONGRATULATIONS to Sarah Wachacha who graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Health from East Tennessee State University August 14, 2009!   

To the Yogi Crowe Scholarship Committee:

I would like to thank the committee and all the past recipients for all their help while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Public Health at East Tennessee State University.  I plan to use my degree to further the healthcare needs of Native people.  I would also like to encourage others to pursue getting a Master’s Degree to further enrich their lives.  Thanks again for all your support.  Sarah Wachacha


Terri Henry was a grant recipient of the Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1991 and 1992 when our endowment was small and we had many more students applying for grants.  She served on the Board of Directors in 1994 and on our Advisory Council 1997-99.  She graduated from the University of Iowa Law School in 1993.

Tell us about yourself and who your family is.

I was born and raised in Cherokee.  I attended Cherokee Elementary and graduated with honors from Cherokee High School.  This foundation was my pathway to the University of North Carolina and the University of Iowa Law School.

The foundations for my life are built upon the influence and lessons learned from the stories of my relatives.  My career path has been rooted in ensuring that the actions against our People in the past never occur again.  Cherokee is my home, and my goal is to open the doors of this government to the people of this Nation. 

I am the daughter of Ralph and Joan Smith Henry.  My maternal grandparents are Elma Arch Smith, daughter of Johnson and Ella Long Arch of Yellowhill, and Charles Smith, son of Jacob and Olive Larch Smith of Wolfetown.  My paternal grandparents are Ida Lee (Dixie) Cooper Henry Arneach, daughter of Arnold and Myrtle Cooper of Yellowhill, and Raymond Henry, son of Bob and Pearl Cagle Henry of Seymour, Tennessee.

Why did you decide to go to law school and what have you done since receiving your degree?

I graduated from UNC-A with Bachelors in Political Science-International Relations in 1987.  As you can imagine, the job market for this degree field was not so obvious.  After graduation, I worked in Congressman James McClure Clarke’s District Office in Asheville, NC, and then moved to the Washington, DC area to work at the US Census Bureau headquarters in Suitland, MD.  While in Washington, I was introduced to human rights lawyers of the Indian Law Resource Center, Inc., who advocate for Indigenous People in the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere.  In my work there, I saw how I could utilize my bachelor’s degree and field of study through advocacy for Indigenous People.  I was inspired, then, to go to law school.

In the summer of 1990, I attended the Pre-law Summer Institute at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was recruited to the University of Iowa-College of Law at Iowa City, Iowa.  I chose Iowa because it was ranked in the top 20 for law schools, taught Federal Indian Law by a reputable law professor, has a top notch international law program and, in particular a Native law professor who taught international indigenous human rights law.  While at Iowa, I had the opportunity to study Comparative International Law through the University of Bordeaux in southern France and complete an Independent Study at the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights Working Group on Indigenous People in Geneva, Switzerland.

Since graduating from law school, Terri has worked in a variety of areas.   In 1996, she joined the US Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office to direct policies and programs for Indian tribes.  In this capacity, Terri directed and helped to develop training and technical assistance for over 250 American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.

Through Terri’s leadership, the first Native based federal programming to address violence against Native women became a reality.  Terri initiated training for tribal judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and advocates to enhance tribal governmental efforts to address the safety of Native women.  Programming under her direction recognized the sovereignty of Indian Tribes and the principles of self-determination. 

In 1999, Terri returned home to Cherokee to found the Qualla Women’s Justice Alliance, and in 2001, she founded Clan Star, Inc. As the Principal Director of Clan Star, Inc., she is an agent of change and dedicated to the sovereignty of Indian tribes and Native women.

Terri formerly served the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as an Associate Justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court.  She also worked with Sacred Circle, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the Green book project, and Mending the Sacred Hoop on violence against women initiatives.  In 1993, Terri served as an Appeals Magistrate in the Cherokee Court of Indian Offenses (CFR Court) and an Associate Justice in the Cherokee Supreme Court in 2000.

Terri is a founding and current member of the National Congress of American Indians Task Force on Violence Against Native Women.  Terri has been involved in the development and implementation of public policy addressing violence against Native women and the broader implications for children through Clan Star’s partnership with Sacred Circle, the National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women.   Terri is co-editor of the Restoration of Native Sovereignty magazine that is published by Sacred Circle.  The Restoration of Native Sovereignty magazine provides a briefing to Tribal Leaders and others interested in following the development of current public policy issues addressing violence against women.

Terri recently served the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as the Director of Public Safety.  Her position portfolio included the Tribal Domestic Violence Program, Child Advocacy Program, Juvenile Services Program, Emergency Management, Cherokee Fire and Rescue, Tribal EMS, Central Dispatch, Fish and Game including the Tribal Trout Hatchery and Animal Control.  Terri inherited and implemented the development of the Emergency Operations Center project during her tenure with the tribe. 

Terri completed an Independent Study program at the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations with Professor James S. Anaya in Geneva, Switzerland, and has since participated in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in New York City in May 2005.  She recently participated in the 72nd Session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) February 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Terri worked at the Indian Law Resource Center in Washington, DC and the US Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland.  Terri was selected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Indian Law Resource Center in 2009.

Terri resides in the Painttown Community of the Qualla Boundary.  In 2009, she was elected to represent the Painttown Community on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s Tribal Council. 

How did the Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund help you achieve your law school goals?

The Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund helped me achieve my law school goals specifically with support for school supplies, but more importantly, the Fund’s commitment to me in this way encouraged me with confidence to complete my educational pursuits.  It was comforting to know that, even though I was halfway across the United States, folk in Cherokee – the Fund’s Board of Directors – had faith in my capabilities to succeed.

Any advice or words of wisdom for potential graduate students or anything else you would like to add?

Reflecting back on my educational journey, I have come to realize that there are times when what you are interested in or want to do doesn’t seem to naturally “fit” what our tribe needs.  I encourage all students to follow their dream(s).  For while you are working through your seemingly “unorthodox” course of study, there will come a day when you figure out how to create your niche in the world and everything will come together for you.

My professional and life experience, including the privilege of travel, have enriched my capabilities in serving the Painttown Community.  Every educational opportunity, job, and exposure to this world have been stepping-stones to where I am today.  While you are paying your dues – and, yes, you have to pay dues along your career path – pay attention to what you’re experiencing in that moment, then envision where you see yourself when you reach your goal and you will be there.  Or, at least you will see yourself on your way.


At his untimely death in 1983, Richard (Yogi) Crowe was working to recruit Native Americans and particularly Eastern Cherokees to attend graduate school.  Friends of Yogi Crowe who were concerned about higher education for Eastern Cherokees wanted to honor Yogi by establishing a scholarship fund in his memory.  

A Steering Committee comprised of Jack Bradley, Mary Herr, Ruth Littlejohn, Phillip Smith, Julius Taylor, Ruth Taylor and Charlotte Whittemore submitted a resolution to Tribal Council requesting sanctioning by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to pursue funding and establish eligibility guidelines for a scholarship fund for enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians pursuing graduate degrees.  Resolution #94 was approved by the Tribal Council on January 5, 1984. 

After unsuccessfully exploring options with several colleges and universities to establish the scholarship fund, the Steering Committee decided to form a non-profit organization.  The Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund was incorporated on January 4, 1985 with Mary Herr, Ruth Littlejohn and Charlotte Whittemore being the incorporators.   In July 1985, the Scholarship Fund was granted 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. 

The original Board of Directors of the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. were Charles (Jim) Hornbuckle, President; Charlotte S. Whittemore, Vice President, Mary A. Herr, Secretary-Treasurer, William Crowe, Ruth S. Littlejohn, Julius Taylor and Mary Wachacha.  The Board decided to establish a perpetual endowment fund with the initial goal being $100,000. 

 Thanks to many generous benefactors, foundation and tribal grants, the $100,000 goal was reached in 1994.  Due to the rising costs of higher education and the growing number of Eastern Cherokees pursuing graduate degrees, the Board of Directors increased the goal for the endowment to $200,000 on December 16, 1994.    In December 2004, a sizeable bequest was received from the estate of Robert McMurray allowing us to achieve this goal.  On July 11, 2005, the Board of Directors increased the goal of the endowment to $500,000 to again meet the rising costs of higher education.  This goal was met in 2007.

Due to the recent economic crisis, our endowment fund has decreased.  During this downturn in the economy, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, the custodian and investor of the scholarship endowment, took measures to stabilize the funds invested and minimize future decreases in value of the fund balance.

The Board of Directors of the Scholarship Fund also elected to invest current and future contributions in more stable investments such as money market accounts and certificates of deposit until the economy stabilizes.  This will ensure that these contributions are protected from market fluctuations.   

The Board of Directors greatly appreciates the loyal support of our many contributors who have helped our endowment grow throughout the years.  Because of your generosity, we have been able to assist 70 tribal members seeking graduate and doctoral degrees.  We hope that you will continue supporting our efforts and suggest that you give a special contribution of at least $25 this year honoring a friend, family member or student or in lieu of birthday or wedding anniversary gifts to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund.


On October 20, 2009, the Board of Directors adopted the following vision statement:

The greatest strength of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lies in educated tribal members.  The Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund’s Board of Directors hopes to insure that every tribal member who wishes to pursue higher education has the opportunity to do so.  We plan to do this by providing financial support and encouragement to enrolled members seeking an education at the Master’s level and higher.


In 2009, the Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc. awarded grants totaling $6,500 to three (3) students.  Since we began giving grants in 1986, the Scholarship Fund has awarded a total of $277,367 to 70 enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  The 2009 recipients were: 

MorningStar Garcia is working on a Master’s degree in Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University.  MorningStar has lived both in Cherokee and New Mexico and is a single mother with two children.  She hopes to work in clinical practice for the tribe after graduation.

Brently McCoy is working on a Master’s degree in Public Affairs/Administration at Western Carolina University while serving as the Program Manager for Tribal Education.  Brently hopes this advanced degree will help him become more efficient with planning the use of tribal resources for higher education.

Natalie Welch is working on a Master’s in Business Administration and Sport Management at the University of Central Florida.  She was accepted into the prestigious DeVos Program which only accepts 25 students every year.  Natalie’s career goal is to become an athletic administrator and work with young student athletes.

On behalf of the students, the Board of Directors extends a heartfelt thank you to all of our contributors.  Because of your help, the endowment has grown so we have more funds available to allocate to students.


The Board of Directors continues in our efforts to develop policies and procedures to address concerns and issues that arise periodically.  On May 12, 2009, the Board of Directors adopted the following default policy:

Any student receiving financial assistance from the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund who does not finish the school term for which funding was provided will be expected to repay the original grant amount within three (3) months of withdrawing from school.  Any student withdrawing from school must immediately report this to the Board of Directors.

On December 1, 2009, the Board of Directors adopted the following policy for waiver of GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT when the accepting institution has waived their own requirement:   

One of the eligibility requirements to receive funding from the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Scholarship Fund is to have been accepted by a graduate or doctoral school and that graduate school must require one of the following for admission: GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT.  MFA students have different acceptance requirements.

This policy addresses the instances when the accepting school that normally requires one of the admission examinations (GMAT, GRE, LSAT or MCAT) waives the requirement for a specific reason (i.e. exceptional undergraduate performance). In these cases, the applicant must:

1.  Provide written proof from the college or university to the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund Board of Directors that the graduate school has waived their standard policy requiring the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, or MCAT according to their own criteria for waiver stating the reason for granting the waiver. 

2. The Board of Directors will review these exceptions on a case by case basis with decisions based upon their own discretion.


Prior to last year, the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund enjoyed several years of healthy gains in the value of its investments causing the Scholarship Fund to grow beyond the Board’s expectations.  That growth disappeared during the economic downturn in late 2008. During 2009, the Scholarship Fund experienced slow but steady increases in values of its investments and hopes to see that trend continue in the coming year.

The Board of Directors is grateful to the many individuals who continued to support the   Scholarship Fund through generous contributions during this difficult economic time. The Board extends a special thanks to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) – Harrah’s Scholarship for an award of $25,000 to the Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Since its inception in 1997, the EBCI – Harrah’s Scholarship has made several large awards to our Scholarship Fund.  This year’s award of $25,000 was especially important during a year of financial crisis.  With the continued support of individuals and organizations such as the EBCI – Harrah’s Scholarship, the Yogi Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund will be able to continue providing financial support to Cherokee students pursuing post-graduate degrees. 

Our 2009 financial reports will not be available until late February or early March.  If you would like a copy of these reports, please write to the Scholarship Fund at P. O. Box 892, Cherokee, NC  28719 or email maryherr@dnet.net.

The Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund invites you to consider our organization as a beneficiary when making your will.  Bequests of personal or real property including stocks, bonds, money market funds or other valuable items are appreciated.

You may also make a tax deductible contribution at this time by gifts of cash, securities, annuities, life insurance or other tangible assets.  For more information, contact us at:  P. O. Box 892, Cherokee, NC 28789 or 828-497-9498.

                                                             2009 CONTRIBUTORS TO


January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2009

 SUSTAINING MEMBER ($1,000 or more each year)

William J. Martin (Past grant recipient)

CONTRIBUTING MEMBER  ($250 each year)     

 Jean Wall Davis  

B. W. Grady

FRIEND OF THE FUND ($100 each year)

Janice Valder Offerman    

North American Indian Women’s Association 


Jaton West from Sandra S. Chamberlin and as Friend of the Fund


Dr. Reva Ballew (Past grant recipient)          

Anita Johnson (Past grant recipient)

Leeann Bridges (Past grant recipient)

Cherokee One Feather

Food Lion Shop and Save Participants

Mary Herr

Dr. Carmaleta Monteith

Joyce Parker

Brenda Oocumma

Tribal Education Department

University of Tennessee Graduate School

Mary Wachacha

David Wyatt


EBCI – Harrah’s Scholarship Fund   

                                                            HONORING GIFTS

In honor of: 

Brenda Oocumma by Bradley B. Letts         

Birthday of Jaton` West by Sandra Chamberlin 


In Memory of:

Gertie Bly by Mary A. Herr                      

Gretta Bridges by Patricia McClanahan

Donald C. Cole by Brenda Oocumma

Harold K. Cooper by Patricia McClanahan

Bobby Cowart by Regina J. Rogers

Mary Gladys Cowart by Paulette G. Mennem

Ronnell Maney by Carmaleta L. Monteith and Brenda Oocumma

Jackson Mintz by Carmaleta L. Monteith

Oscar Welch by Dr. Reva Ballew, Mary Herr, Carmaleta L. Monteith,

Brenda Occumma, Mary Wachacha  and David Wyatt

Josh Williamson by Carmaleta L. Monteith and Brenda Oocumma  


Dr. Reva Ballew (Past grant recipient)

Bill Boyum

Leeann Bridges (Past grant recipient)

Cherokee Preservation Foundation

Food Lion LLC Shop and Share Program

Boysie Fortez/Iroquoian Plumbing and Heating Supplies

Mike Ginn (Past grant recipient)

Patty Grant (Past grant recipient) via John S. Rausch

Mary A. Herr

Anita Johnson (Past grant recipient)

D. Michael and Dolores Kapilla

George M. Kloster, Jr. 

Tiana Melquist (Past grant recipient)

Carmaleta L. Monteith

Brenda Oocumma

Sharon M. O’Hagan

Dwight C. Price

Mary G. Wachacha

Harvey and Jaton’ West

Thanks to everyone for your contributions!

Richard (Yogi) Crowe Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc.

2009 Board of Directors

President:         Dr. Carmaleta Monteith (1998) 

Vice President:  Dr. Reva Ballew (1999)

Secretary:         *Mary Herr (1985)          Treasurer:          Brenda Oocumma (1989)

            Leeann Bridges (2005)      Anita Johnson (2008)     *Mary Wachacha (1985)

The year shown reflects the year in which the person became a board member.  *Denotes founding member.