For recent Brevard College graduate Blake Ellege, giving back to his alma mater isn’t something he wants to wait for. The 2014 alumnus announced today the establishment of The Blake Ellege Endowed Vocal Scholarship, which will be awarded to a Brevard College student majoring in vocal performance.
“I have worked with many people in the creation of endowed scholarships, but I have never worked with someone who just graduated and, in spite of having financial hardships that accompany being a newly minted college graduate, is so passionate to endow a scholarship to immediately give back,” said Susan Cothern, Brevard’s Vice President for Philanthropic Development.
The scholarship will be established at the $25,000 level and will be fully funded by Aug. 21, 2020. Ellege, an accomplished singer and performer, plans to donate to the College 20 percent of sales from the five albums he will be releasing this year to help fund the endowment.
“Blake is an extremely talented young man who has always given extra effort, time and talent to the College,” said BC President David Joyce. “I’m not surprised that he would look for a way to pay it forward as an alumnus.”
At the tender age of two, Ellege began singing and performing and soon hit the road with his parents and the Southern Gospel trio, Chosen. By age six, he was signed to a gospel music record label and released his debut album. Due to his vocal prowess, Ellege was given the honor to headline at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Memphis, Tennessee, for five years.
After being home-schooled and performing full time in Country, Blues, R&B and Rock and Roll bands until he was 17 years old, Ellege decided he wanted to “have the real high-school experience and walk across a stage at graduation.” He graduated from East Henderson High School, and because of his long ties to Brevard College, knew this was where he wanted to attend college.
Ellege has worked for television and radio for over 15 years, performing for programming on radio and television stations in France, Belgium, Russia and Mexico featuring his talents in character work as well as singing a variety of different genres of music. He continued to travel and perform full time while also being a full-time student at the college.
He graduated from Brevard College in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in Music with an emphasis in Classical Vocal Music Performance. He was presented with numerous awards during his course of study at Brevard, including being named “Most Outstanding Music Performer” and receiving an award nomination from The Kennedy Center for “Best Sound Design in a Collegiate Theater Production.” Blake continues to travel full time, performing for churches, opera companies, symphony orchestras and giving private concerts all over the Southeast.
“When Blake and I met to discuss this scholarship, he was practically levitating with excitement! His personal story is moving and inspirational, and serves as the catalyst for Blake’s passion for helping others, and doing it through the institution that he credits for his success,” Cothern said. “The special thing about Blake is that he will never forget his roots, and will retain his humility. This attitude is evident by his creation of this scholarship. He brings true honor to his alma mater.”