Rebecca Gatling Long Memorial Scholarship supports students attending Chowan University

Rebecca Gatling Long, or Miss Rebie, as she was known in her community, spent most of her life In Jackson, N.C. She graduated from Chowan College in Murfreesboro in 1920, a time when few women pursued higher education.

Rebecca Gatling LongDuring her career, she was a teacher, a secretary to the Northampton Superintendent of Schools (her father) and assistant in the Clerk of Court’s office. Later, she was elected Clerk of Court, and became the first woman to hold an elected position in Northampton County. 


After she retired, she continued to teach Sunday School and belonged to her church circle at Jackson Baptist Church. She also participated in a book club and grew vegetables and roses in her garden.

Her niece, Sandy Long Sperry, considers Miss Rebie, “the most meaningful person in my life.” She was the embodiment of a life well-lived. “Through her kindness, love and example she became my role model,” says Sperry.

“She embraced learning through experiences and reading, and supported educational opportunities with enthusiasm and financial generosity,” says Sperry. “As I became older, I learned from other people in Jackson that she had helped them in numerous ways as they grew up and when they were adults. She always had time to listen and could express her thoughts in a gentle manner.”

The Rebecca Gatling Long Memorial Scholarship, established at the North Carolina Community Foundation, supports Chowan University in providing financial assistance to students with demonstrated financial need, with a preference for students from Northampton County, North Carolina.