Scholarship Honoring Eric Murphy Comes to Fruition | Thomas Nelson Community College

Scholarship Honoring Eric Murphy Comes to Fruition

January 8, 2021
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Eric Murphy's passions included the Norfolk Admirals, fishing and Thomas Nelson Community College.

After a lot of hard work and effort, a scholarship in memory of Eric Murphy has been established at Thomas Nelson. His mother Patti Boyd announced late last year that $30,000 was raised for an annual scholarship.

“It was a joint effort. We got there,” she said of his family, friends and co-workers.

Murphy was a Thomas Nelson graduate, and worked in the Informataion Technology department for nearly 20 years. He died from congestive heart failure Oct. 3, 2019, less than a week before turning 45. His mother said he always wanted to create a scholarship in his honor at the College.

“He never asked for anything, but when he was sickest, that’s the one thing he said. ‘I’d really like a scholarship at Thomas Nelson named after me,’” she said. “That’s where it came from.”

The Eric Murphy Scholarship is among the more than 70 available to Thomas Nelson students. In fall 2020, Thomas Nelson awarded 108 students scholarships totaling $86,955. An annual scholarship requires an endowment of $30,000.

Boyd solicited donations from family, friends and co-workers; raised money through a fundraiser with the Norfolk Admirals (Murphy was a season ticketholder and big fan); and sold some of his possessions.

“His family, friends and co-workers worked hard,” she said.

Murphy’s connections to Thomas Nelson run deep. His mother, stepfather and two uncles also are alums.

Boyd said there are few restrictions for the scholarship, other than the recipient studying information technology in some form.

“We want it to be needs-based,” she said. “There’s not a certain grade point average required to qualify. Anybody that Thomas Nelson deems needs the money is eligible.”

The scholarship is for $1,250 a year. It will allow Murphy, who wasn’t married and didn’t have any children, to continue to have an effect on the College community for years to come.

Everybody he worked with he considered a friend and they made a difference,” Boyd said. “They meant the world to him. He liked the idea this would make him relevant to somebody for a long time.”

To donate to the Eric Murphy Scholarship or others at Thomas Nelson, go to

In addition to the scholarship named for Murphy, numerous funding options for new and returning students are available. Among those are federal and state financial aid (including grants),  veteran and active duty education benefits, workforce development assistance and the Thomas Nelson Community College Payment Plan.

The Financial Aid team encourages students to complete the FAFSA application to be considered for any assistance. 

In-depth information about various financial aid options at Thomas Nelson is available online.