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Epley Public Relations Scholarship Awarded to Appalachian Students

050504communcations_dl.jpgBOONE–Joe Epley knows the value of an education and the benefits of lifelong learning.

Epley is founder and chairman of Epley Associates, a public relations firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh. Through his involvement in the Public Relations Society of America, he has promoted continuing education of public relations professionals. He is the founder and past president of Charlotte Chapter of PRSA and a past national president of PRSA.

Through the creation of The Joe S. Epley Scholarship Foundation for Public Relations, Epley’s friends and colleagues are providing financial support to aspiring public relations professionals and honoring the man who has worked to strengthen the public relations profession for the past 35 years.

Epley presented the first two scholarships awarded by the foundation to Appalachian State University juniors Terri Lockwood of Boone and Jennifer Clark of Lexington. Each received $1,000.

Epley never received a college diploma, but adds that he wouldn’t hire himself today if he was just entering the profession.

” When I started out in this business, there were very few schools in the country that even had courses in public relations,” Epley said. Not everyone succeeded, he said. “We had to learn by the seat of our pants.”

Epley said it was important to support others pursuing public relations careers, because he had benefited from the support of others when beginning his career.

” While I have been blessed with having some good successes in life, I wouldn’t have had any of those successes if it had not been for other people reaching out and giving me a helping hand with advice and with assistance along the way,” he said. “I believe that it’s important that we who succeed (from others’ support) give back.”

Clark is majoring in public relations and political science. She is interested in a career in political communication or political consulting.

Lockwood, the mother of three teenagers, works full time in the university’s Equity Office and is a full-time student. She is scheduled to graduate in 2005 with honors.

Lockwood is interested in attending graduate or law school after earning her undergraduate degree.

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Picture Caption: Jennifer Clark of Lexington, left, and Terri Lockwood of Boone are the first recipients of the Epley Public Relations Scholarship awarded at Appalachian State University. Epley, center, is founder of the Charlotte public relations firm Epley Associates. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Mike Rominger)