Ds Scholarship

The Outer Banks Voice – Community Foundation honors Irene Nolan, groundbreaking OBX journalist

Community Foundation Honors Erin Nolan, Leading OBX Journalist

Written by Otter Banks Voice on December 22, 2021

(Offshore Banking Community Foundation)

Erin Nolan and Donna Barnett

The Outer Banks Community Foundation announced on December 22 the creation of a scholarship fund to honor OBX’s great neighbor and distinguished journalist Erin Nolan. Here is the version.

Erin Nolan has been a force for good for nearly two decades on our outskirts. She was an accomplished journalist and newspaper editor, an early board member of the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, an ardent volunteer for other causes and a friend of many islanders.

The Erin Nolan Memorial Scholarship Fund was recently established by Erin’s longtime business partner and Island Free Press co-founder, Donna Barnett. The IRENE Renewable Undergraduate Scholarships will be awarded to students on the islands of Hatteras and Okrakuki, with preference given to students pursuing English-related degrees.

Erin moved to the Outer Banks of the South in 1991 after a successful career in Louisville, (KY) Courier-Journal. She moved to Hatteras in 1991 and married CA Boxley of Frisco. She became an editor at Island Breeze, a Southern Outer Banks publication. Sixteen years later, Erin and Donna launched the Island Free Press (IFP), the first and only online newspaper covering the South Outer Banks. This post has quickly become an important community resource for visitors and residents.

“This has been my dream since Erin’s sudden death in 2017,” Barnett said. “Irene was so many things to me. A second mother, mentor, friend and icon. She was also so many things to this community and was considered the voice of our islands. It was only fitting that she start a scholarship in her name. I am so excited about this scholarship that it will come to fruition and I look forward to watching it go through.” Grow and help more and more students over the coming years.”

“As one of the many writers who have been fortunate to work with Erin on Island Breeze and Island Free Press, I can’t think of a better tribute to her legacy than helping the next wave of Outer Banks writers pursue their own love,” said Joy Krist, current editor at Island Free Press. “Irene remains the soul and backbone of IFP, and I am so grateful to Donna and the community founder for finding a beautiful way to highlight a wonderful journalist, editor and friend.”

This fund, like most other Community Foundation scholarship funds, will provide up to four years of scholarship funding to each recipient student. In addition, the fund is endowed, which means that the bulk of its assets will remain invested and only five percent of its profits will be spent each year. In this way, the fund will be a permanent source of scholarships for students in Hatteras and Okrakuki Islands.

Anyone can contribute to the Erin Nolan Memorial Scholarship Fund by sending a check to the community institution with the fund’s name on the note line, or by making a contribution online at obcf.org/donate-now, selecting the fund from the searchable funds list.

Publisher’s note: Having had the pleasure of getting to know Erin Nolan after moving to Otter Banks in 2014, a few more thoughts. By the time I held the position of managing editor for the Louisville Courier-Journal, which was a very good newspaper, the glass ceiling of the profession for women was stifling. You had to be more intelligent, skilled, and respectful to achieve what you did. She was very kind and helpful when I originally got here to buy the Outer Banks Sentinel, showed me the OBX ropes and support the Sentinel press – to the point of sending money to help fund a series of articles we produced that I thought were important. (Mark Gorkowitz)



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