The John & Ruth Blue Scholarship Endowment, a fund of the Watauga County Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the recipient of the Blue Scholarship for 2011. Sam Littlejohn, one of the top academic students at Watauga High School, has been selected to be the Blue Scholar for 2011. He is the son of Merrill and Beth Littlejohn of Blowing Rock. Sam will be attending Davidson College, where he plans on studying chemistry on a pre-medical track. Sam is an Eagle Scout, was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, was accepted to the North Carolina Governor’s School in Natural Science, and was a Morehead-Cain Scholarship Semifinalist. Sam also participated in the Georgetown University Summer Program for High School Students in Medicine. Sam was also co-salutatorian of the 2011 graduating class at Watauga High School and was selected to the all-conference cross country team last fall.

            This is the fifth year that the Blue Scholarship has been awarded. The recipient will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the university of their choice, renewable for four years. The recipients of the Blue Scholarship are selected based on academic excellence, physical vigor and activity, and leadership in the school, church and community service.

            The Blue Scholarship was established in 2001 by John and Ruth Blue with provisions for additional funds after their passing. The Blues retired to Watauga County more than 20 years ago and wanted to do something for the community that had meant so much to them. John was a member of the Blue family that organized the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad more than 100 years ago, operated as one of the most successful short line railroads in the country. The railroad serves the Aberdeen, Raeford and Fayetteville area and during World War II the system carried more than one million troops in and out of the Fort Bragg area.

            John Blue passed away in 2003 and his wife Ruth died in 2005. Following their deaths, a significant estate gift was added to the original fund to support scholarships for graduates of a high school in Watauga County or Watauga County residents graduating from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the North Carolina School of the Arts or any other school for academically gifted students. The Blue Scholarship is currently the largest single local scholarship that is available to Watauga County residents and the contribution by the Blue family will ensure the perpetuity of the scholarship as it grows in future years. Recipients are known as Blue Scholars.

The Blue Scholarship Endowment is one 26 funds of the Watauga County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation. The local affiliate was organized in 1988 with the establishment of a Legacy Fund and now includes endowment holdings of more than $2.5 million. In 2010, the endowment funds of the Watauga County Community Foundation made 22 grants totaling $42,000 and 10 scholarships totaling $25,690 were provided to deserving students.

            The NCCF is the single statewide community foundation and was created 23 years ago to build capacity through philanthropy.  The NCCF sustains 1,000 endowment funds established to provide long-term support of a broad range of community needs, nonprofit organizations and scholarships.  The NCCF partners with 60 affiliate foundations to provide local resource allocation and community assistance in 66 counties across the state, with an emphasis on rural and underserved areas. Since its inception, the NCCF has made $68 million in grants across the state.  For more information, visit



Media Contact: Brian Crutchfield, Board of Directors

Watauga County Community Foundation / North Carolina Community Foundation

828-773-5318 (cell) / 828-264-7960 (home)

Back to Top