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Through her estate plans, Caroline Stewart established a scholarship in honor of her late husband, Dr. Edwin L. Stewart, a history professor at Warren Wilson from 1951-1954.
Both from Greenville, South Carolina, Ed and Caroline met in high school. Several years after high school, they married, and Ed joined the Service, while Caroline taught elementary school. Once Ed was discharged from the Service in 1951, he heard about a “little college outside Asheville” known as Warren Wilson College and applied for a job teaching history. He was immediately offered the job by then-president Arthur Bannerman, and soon the couple found themselves in what Caroline describes as a “magical place.”
“It took no more than two weeks to feel like we had ‘hit the jackpot.’ We felt so fortunate to be on such a beautiful, charming campus. We were just so impressed – so impressed with the faculty and all the staff. They were so educated, creative, intelligent and fun. Mainly they were so committed to the students and the College,” explained Caroline.
During that time, Caroline recalls the closeness and warmth of the Warren Wilson community: “I remember that we faculty wives must have made hundreds of dozens of cookies. Everybody worked; work was exalted at Warren Wilson. It felt like we were a big family.”
After three years on campus, the Stewarts moved to Chapel Hill to take advantage of the G.I. Bill, which was about to expire. Ed enrolled in medical school at the University of North Carolina, earning an M.D. in neurology, which led to a successful 30-year career as a neurologist in Clearwater, Florida. Though they lived several states away, Ed and Caroline thought frequently about Warren Wilson and the Swannanoa Valley. Upon Ed’s retirement in 1991, the couple purchased a home close to campus.
“It took us almost 30 years to come back, but we did. We always stayed in touch and came to visit frequently; Warren Wilson was our “first home” and a place we could never forget,” Caroline said.
After her husband passed away in 2001, Caroline decided to include Warren Wilson College in her will. Specifically, she has funded a scholarship for a history major at the College in honor of Ed, who loved teaching, loved his students and loved the College. Caroline hopes that this scholarship will assist a student who needs help.
“There were so many students back then who needed help, as I am sure there are today. To help students get an education at Warren Wilson would be a wonderful remembrance. Ed would be very pleased, he loved Warren Wilson.”