Family turns tragedy into triumph with NCCU scholarship in honor of woman who was killed

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, December 12, 2023
NCCU scholarship launched in honor of murdered woman
Loved ones believe this scholarship is about turning a tragedy into triumph after Tanya McKoy was shot and killed two years ago.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Michael McKoy still feels his big sister's presence. Tracey McKoy died from gun violence two years ago.

"She was down there visiting our mother and she never made it back to the hospital to see her. Our mother has dementia," said McKoy.

It all still feels fresh for McKoy, who said Wilmington police haven't made an arrest connected to her murder. He struggles to come to grips with such a big loss.

"It's almost like she's not gone," he said. "She was everything: your mother and your accountant."

McKoy was an accountant by trade, but so much more than that. Tanya Brown shared a few of her best friend's accomplishments and some of the pain she feels.

"People don't realize when you take someone's life, it doesn't stop with that death. It continues with her loved ones. For a while, I couldn't function, but this gave me life," said Brown.

Mckoy and Brown launched a scholarship in Tracey's honor. They plan to provide scholarships to students majoring in accounting at North Carolina Central University's School of Business.

The first check was written for $30,000 Monday afternoon. It is an endowment scholarship, which means it has to sit in an account to accrue interest for one year.

NCCU staffers told ABC11 the first recipients won't receive the money until 2025.

Loved ones believe this scholarship is about turning a tragedy into triumph.

"This endowed scholarship will live on forever so students will incur as little debt as possible," said Anthony Nelson, dean of the School of Business.

When Tracey's life was taken, so was a leader and positive example to young girls from her hometown of Wilmington, according to those who loved her. Thanks to this scholarship her legacy will live on.

"She will not be forgotten," said McKoy.

Tracey McKoy (Photo Credit: Family)