Elon University's Global Education Center received a gift of $100,000 in memory of Michael Poteat ‘04. Michael died in 2014 at age 31 after battling chronic illnesses for most of his life.
The gift will financially assist Study Abroad students who suffer from a debilitating chronic disease.
Poteat's parents, George and Kathy, his sister, Nicole and her wife Emilie donated the gift to deal with their feelings of loss and to honor the significance Elon Study Abroad had on Michael.
At 5-years-old, Michael was stricken with brain cancer and then Crohn’s disease when he was 15. The family moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina when Michael was 10 and chose to attend Elon to stay close to home. His family believed he was most impacted by his Winter Term trip to Australia.
After graduating with a degree in information technology, Poteat moved to Washington, D.C. to work with the U.S Senate before returning home to North Carolina a few years later. Eventually, Michael made his way back to Australia where he earned a master’s degree from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales.
Shortly after returning home to North Carolina, Poteat’s kidneys began to fail. Not long after receiving a kidney transplant, Michael died in June 2014 from a bout with pneumonia, which weakened his immune system.
Poteat’s family hopes the scholarship money will give other students the chance to travel and experience the world just as Michael had.