50 for 50

John and Ebbie Monroe – Strengthening Sandhills

John and Ebbie Monroe

When her sons first started at Southern Pines Elementary, Evelyn “Ebbie” Monroe, a former teacher, was there to help out. Her volunteer efforts included everything from organizing a parent volunteer program to being instrumental in the rebuilding of an elementary school playground and three new athletic fields.  Her service continued at each school the four boys attended.

Mrs. Monroe and her husband, John, a head and neck surgeon, have always been strong supporters of public education. “When the boys were going to school, private schools were springing up all over but we stayed with public education,” says Mrs. Monroe. “It served us well.”  Two of the Monroe sons are dentists, two are attorneys. 

Dr. Raymond Stone asked Mrs. Monroe to be on the Board of Trustees at Sandhills Community College and she served from 1978 until 1995. She was appointed to the North Carolina State Board of Education, serving from 1995-2005; during her tenure, the important Huskins Bill was passed, allowing qualified high school students to earn both high school credit and community college credit. She has also served on the Board of the Sandhills Foundation.

Through the years, Dr. Monroe, who grew up on a farm near West End, and Mrs. Monroe, who grew up in Montgomery County, have been faithful donors to Sandhills, to help the institution they feel continually improves the lives of people in the region.

“Sandhills was the first comprehensive community college in this state and remains the flagship school, serving the needs of regional people—even people who don’t attend the college,” says Dr. Monroe. “A prime example is the nursing program at Sandhills. That program benefits not only the people studying nursing but the patients now being served by Sandhills graduates.”

“When local students want a college education at a reasonable cost, Sandhills offers them an opportunity,” Mrs. Monroe says. “Some graduates then use the Sandhills’ associate degree to transfer to a four-year college. That’s an excellent plan and is made possible because of Sandhills.”


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