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UNC Charlotte and UCPS announce scholarship in honor of Ellis “Reed” Parlier

Caleb Beckstein, a CATA grad who knew Reed poses with Principal Merritt and Mr. and Mrs. Parlier Reed Parlier was one of a kind: a witty, vibrant, generous and kind young man with aspirations of being a game developer in the future.

In his own quiet way, he had a knack for making an impact on those around him as a student at both Central Academy of Technology & Arts (CATA) and UNC Charlotte.

His life was tragically cut short during the April 30 shooting at UNC Charlotte, but on Oct. 24, UNC Charlotte and UCPS announced a joint partnership to ensure that his positive impact will be felt for many years to come: the Ellis “Reed” Parlier Memorial Scholarship.

Made possible by the generous contribution of an anonymous donor and friends of the Parlier family, the Ellis Reed Parlier Memorial Scholarship will cover the recipient’s four-year cost of tuition at UNC Charlotte.

Students who plan to pursue any major are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to a student who plans to pursue a B.S. in Computer Science with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Gaming. Additionally, first preference for the scholarship will be given to CATA students.

“Reed adored this school. It’s where he found his people and continued his love of computers,” Reed’s mother Julie Parlier said, standing in front of Reed’s friends, CATA students, Board of Education members as well as UCPS and UNC Charlotte staff. “We are so happy to have a student from CATA receive this scholarship to UNCC in the gaming and information technology department. Reed’s goal was to graduate from UNCC with that degree and we’re so thankful that someone from CATA and Union County Public Schools will have the opportunity to do the same.”

It’s a fitting legacy for the young man who his friend Caleb Beckstein describes as an easy-going, intelligent and caring friend who left such a tremendous impact, and many great memories, on students in CATA’s Information Technology Academy.

“Reed shared a passion for IT that made him part of our family at CATA. He was a teacher and mentor who understood the topics and was willing to take the time to patiently explain in detail the way things worked,” Beckstein said. “He graciously imparted his knowledge on everyone becoming an older friend to many of us who were just trying to navigate high school as sophomores.”

Providing the CATA students with additional details about the scholarship, UNC Charlotte Director of Admissions Claire Kirby announced that the scholarship also celebrates the impact that Parlier had on the UNC Charlotte community.

“Buildings come and go, but scholarships hold a lasting impact on students’ lives year after year,” she said. “The recipients of the Reed Parlier Memorial Scholarship will carry his legacy with them during their journey at UNC Charlotte and beyond.”

As a student in CATA’s software development and game design pathway, senior Brynna Miller said she was both surprised and excited to learn about the scholarship opportunity.

“I’m happy that they’re doing something to continue his legacy because that’s so important when something tragic happens. This scholarship is a great opportunity for so many students,” she said. “I’m most likely going to apply for this scholarship. Regardless of who they choose, his legacy will definitely live on.”

Funds for the Ellis Reed Parlier Memorial Scholarship will be administered by the UNC College of Computing and Informatics and recipients who best meet the criteria established by the donor will be selected by a scholarship committee.

To apply for the scholarship before the Feb. 15, 2020 deadline, UCPS students are encouraged to talk to their counselors for more information. Additional details about the scholarship can be found on UNC Charlotte’s website.