Elon Homes’ Stalwart Barbara McCauley Tapscott Dies at 81

Barbara McCauley Tapscott

Former Elon Homes’ Board of Governors member Barbara McCauley Tapscott, Ph.D., died Aug. 4, 2019, in Burlington, N.C., from complications of pneumonia. Tapscott served on the Elon board for almost 15 years, and was named a Governor Emeritus in 2013.

“Barbara had a deep and abiding concern for all children and spent a lifetime of Christian service to God through public school education and child social welfare,” says Frederick Grosse, Elon Homes president and CEO. “She had a wonderful love for life, a great sense of humor, and she was a source of  friendship and collegial service with fellow Board members and staff. We all have lost a great friend but rejoice in the certainty of her Christian resurrection.”

Tapscott spent her life making an impact on children’s education. She earned a B.A. degree (1960) from Elon College (now University; and Master’s (education, 1969) and Doctoral (education administration, 1974) from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

She began her career teaching elementary and middle schoolers. Later, Tapscott served as a principal and as a city school administrator. Throughout her career, she served on numerous educational boards. In 1977, she was appointed by then-Governor Hunt to the N.C. Competency Board, and in 1980 became the first female Chairman of the N.C. State Board of Education. She was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine — one of the most prestigious awards bestowed by the North Carolina governor — on three separate occasions.

“Across [North Carolina], children received a better public school K-12 education — and abused, abandoned and neglected children found safe haven — because of her visionary leadership,” Grosse says.

In addition to serving as an Elon Homes board member, Tapscott also served on the Advisory Council to Adult Basic Education for the Technical College of Alamance; the Alamance Executives Club, as an ex-officio member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee to study Academic Credit for High School Volunteerism; on the Alamance County Hospital Board of Trustees; and on the Alamance Regional Medical Center Board of Directors.

Tapscott was born Feb. 6, 1938, in Guilford County N.C., to Harlin and Hazel McCauley. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, William H. Tapscott; sons Kent (Roxanne) Tapscott of Burlington and Kyle Tapscott of Pine Bluff; grandson Brett (Brooke) Tapscott and great-grandson Reid of Raleigh; and granddaughter Heather Tapscott of Burlington. She also is survived by brother Garlin (Sylvia) McCauley of Stanley, N.C.

Memorials may be made to Elon Homes and to Greensboro College. 

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