SALISBURY, N.C. – The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation has awarded the first Keith Wayne Cook Automotive Scholarship to Ashley Goodrich of Spencer. The scholarship honors Keith Wayne Cook, a former Rowan-Cabarrus student with a lifelong love of automotive mechanics.
Cook, a native of Concord, possessed a rare and exceptional gift for mechanics. From tinkering on his tricycle at age 3, to his shop classes at Northwest Cabarrus High School and a continued hobby of auto repair, he was a lifelong lover of mechanics. He owned and operated Maximum Performance and Keith’s Dyno-Tune in Concord before moving on to a career of 23 years at Freightliner Corporation in Cleveland as a Production Team Leader and Quality Control Inspector. Cook studied industrial management at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
The Keith Wayne Cook Automotive Scholarship was established by his sister, the Rev. Dr. Cathy A. Cook, a former communications instructor and department chair at Rowan-Cabarrus.
“My little brother loved nothing more than working on cars,” Cook said. “This scholarship will empower others to pursue their dreams in the field of auto mechanics – a perfect way to honor Keith’s life and the tremendous difference he made to everyone he knew.”
Goodrich is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree in Automotive Systems Technology. She enjoys working on cars in her leisure time, and she and her husband would like to open their own auto mechanics business once she graduates.
“Being chosen for the scholarship has made me want to work even harder,” Goodrich said. “It feels great that someone is cheering me on and is willing to donate their money to help make my life easier so that I can focus on my studies.”
The Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation, established in 1991, raises and manages funds for annual and endowed scholarships to assist students, as well as enhancing relationships that support the College’s overall mission.
“The Foundation is grateful to the Cook family for this generous scholarship to assist Ashley Goodrich as she works toward a career in automotive technology,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Keith Wayne Cook’s passion for the field will live on as students are inspired by his talent and devotion to auto mechanics.”