Belmont Abbey College, Gaston County Police Department & Gaston County Schools Announce the James Buie Scholarship
BELMONT, N.C. (December 9, 2016) – Belmont Abbey College, the Gaston County Police Department and Gaston County Schools are pleased to announce the James Buie Scholarship Program which provides a full scholarship for selected students in pursuit of a Criminal Justice degree at Belmont Abbey College. The program will support two students each year over the next eight years. Upon completion of their degree and qualifications of the Gaston County Police Department, the GCPD will offer these students full-time employment with the department for a period of not less than five years.
“I was thrilled when Chief Ramey approached me with his vision of the scholarship program, and am certain the young people and citizens of Gaston County will benefit tremendously as a result of his leadership” said Dr. Julie Beeman, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Belmont Abbey College. Dr. Beeman will be the primary academic advisor for the scholarship students and provide them the path to their eventual degree in Criminal Justice and future employment with Gaston County Police Department.
The Gaston County Police Department will establish an initial fund at the College from drug forfeitures. The goal of the scholarship is to increase diversity in the department with minority and female applicants receiving priority. The Police Department, Gaston County Schools and Belmont Abbey will, for the first two years of the program select a current rising junior and one incoming freshman for this prestigious scholarship. “We are excited to partner with Belmont Abbey College and Gaston County Schools in this program, with the emphasis on creating a more diverse police department that represents the citizens of Gaston County, while honoring former Chief James Buie”, said current Gaston County Police Department Chief Joe Ramey.
Gaston County Schools Superintendent W. Jeffrey Booker stated, “We are extremely pleased to partner with the Gaston County Police Department and Belmont Abbey College to make this important scholarship opportunity available to students. This scholarship program is another way for us to provide assistance for students to attend college as well as promote careers in public service such as law enforcement. We are grateful to the Gaston County Police Department and Belmont Abbey College for establishing this scholarship in honor of retired police Chief James Buie, who served our community so well and supported our schools for many years.”
The scholarship is named for Belmont Abbey College alum, James Buie ’86 who was formerly a Chief of the Gaston County Police Department and was the county’s first African-American chief. Buie preceded current Chief Joe Ramey and served the Gaston County Police Department for 29 years.
About Belmont Abbey College
Belmont Abbey College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts institution founded by Benedictine monks in 1876. Our mission is to educate students in the liberal arts and sciences so that in all things God may be glorified. Guided by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning, we welcome a diverse body of students and provide them with an education that will enable them to lead lives of integrity, to succeed professionally, to become responsible citizens, and to be a blessing to themselves and to others. Our beautiful and historic campus is conveniently located just 10 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., and is currently home to more than 1500 students. For more information, visit www.belmontabbeycollege.edu or www.abbeyathletics.com.
About Gaston County Police Department
The Gaston County Police Department was created by Legislative Act on July 1, 1957 and began operation with a chief, a secretary and 23 sworn officers. At that time the Department was primarily responsible for providing police service to the unincorporated areas of the county. Since that time, however, additional duties and responsibilities have been given to the Gaston County Police. Today, the Department employs 138 sworn officers who provide police services to a community of approximately 90,000 residents and spanning an area of over 270 square miles that along with the unincorporated areas of Gaston County also includes providing police services to the incorporated towns of High Shoals and Spencer Mountain. In addition, the Department employs 94 civilians who provide 911 Communications and Animal Control throughout Gaston County. Since its inception in 1957, the Department has continually grown stronger and more proficient.
About Gaston County Schools
Gaston County Schools is fully accredited by AdvancED and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a quality school system. Each school is also fully accredited. It is the ninth largest school district in North Carolina with more than 32,000 students (pre-kindergarten through high school). Gaston County Schools provides a comprehensive educational program with outstanding opportunities for students in academics, athletics, fine arts, career and technical education, and extracurricular activities. In addition the school system is the second largest employer in Gaston County with more than 3,700 full-time and part-time employees, including 1,950 classroom teachers.
High school seniors in Gaston County can receive applications from high school counselors. Current Abbey students can access the application here: James W. Buie Scholarship Application.