Barton College receives record donation

Barton College has received a $7.8 million donation for student financial aid – the largest gift in its history.

This week, the private college in Wilson announced the bequest from the estate of Emerson Clarence “E.C.” Winstead. It will go to financial aid, with preference to North Carolina students.

Barton officials said the gift has the potential to touch nearly every current and future student at the college. Almost all students receive financial aid from Barton, and 85 percent are from North Carolina.

Winstead, a Wilson native, was head of the purchasing department at the Eastern North Carolina Sanitarium and later an administrator at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf. He was a longtime supporter of Barton, having established a music professorship in honor of his late wife, Laura Battle Winstead, and having donated two Steinway pianos to the college. Laura Winstead, a Rocky Mount native, taught at Barton (then Atlantic Christian College) in the late 1950s.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill