Leak Bryant scholarship helps nursing students shine

Ashley Leak Bryant ’03 BSN, ’05 MSN is supporting UNCG School of Nursing students with a planned gift of over $500,000. It establishes the Leak Bryant Family Endowed Scholarship, which will recognize both merit and financial need. 

Bryant explains that the gift honors both the family that helped her succeed and the role that UNCG played in her education.  

“This endowment is in honor and dedication to my ancestors. I’m standing on their shoulders,” says Bryant, who recalls her parents’ encouraging words: “Ashley, we know there’s something in you. You can and will go far.”   

She grew up in a house with her parents, James and Patricia Leak, and the six “golden rules.” Pick your friends. Don’t be used. Stay focused. Think. Remain humble. And, always do your best. Then, at UNCG, instructors and residence life helped her recognize her own strengths and dream big. Her sister is also a UNCG alumna.  

“UNC Greensboro is a hidden gem,” she says. “No matter how large it gets, you can still find your people there.” Her advice for current students is, “Surround yourself with people who want to help you grow and succeed.”  

Dr. Debra Barksdale, dean of the School of Nursing, says Bryant jumped into university life and found success. “Dr. Bryant earned Nursing Leadership Awards as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. She’s a wonderful example of the kind of leader our School of Nursing works hard to produce. We’re so grateful that she continues to give back as an alumna.”  

Today, Bryant is senior associate dean for global initiatives and a distinguished professor at UNC Chapel Hill who wants to create a legacy that lifts others up. “It’s important for us to see talent, for us to see gifts, for us to see people in their potential, and to elevate them. I would never want finances to be the reason a student can’t continue their education,” she says.   

With this gift, Bryant is creating remarkable real-world impact, says Barksdale. “Her gift increases access to the top-notch education that our School of Nursing offers, and it will change the lives of deserving students who have financial need.”  

Ashley Leak Bryant’s planned gift is part of UNCG’s Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement, which seeks to elevate the University by strengthening three key areas: access, excellence, and impact. To learn more about the campaign, visit lighttheway.uncg.edu

Courtesy photo.