The Morganton Humanist Alliance is continuing to carry on the legacy of a local educator through an annual scholarship award.

The organization , founded in March of 2016, is a secular support and community action group for those who value compassion, rationality and critical thinking and is a chapter of the American Humanist Association.

The MHA created the Ronno Cooke Memorial Scholarship in 2017 to help fund Burke County students who wish to attend Western Piedmont Community College. Ronno Cooke was a Burke County humanitarian , artist and educator whose life exemplified secular humanist values. He was involved in conservation, green technology, occupational safety, rehabilitation and progressive journalism.

The Morganton Humanist Alliance is proud to award the 2019 Ronno Cooke Memorial Scholarship to Megan Greene , a Morganton resident who plans to study business and horticulture. In her scholarship application, she quoted American poet John Barlow : “If I get the chance , I might just change the world.”

As a young girl, Greene became interested in ecology when recycling bins were added to her public school classrooms. She graduated from West Caldwell High School and participated in band, art and theater. She was the youngest lead role in the first student-directed play in her freshman year of high school and spent almost every day after school working with the stagehand crew in her junior year. Her dream is to “work with the people who want to make the future green and good for all who love.”

The MHA sponsors and supports a wide range of charities and events in Burke County , including organizing Morganton’s March for Science, providing food for the hungry through its “ Saturday Suppers ” program, participating in the Adopt a Highway program, sponsoring a local veteran to join the peaceful protest at Standing Rock, donating and planting trees for the city of Morganton, volunteering at the Sunrise Run for the Historic Morganton Festival, and donating to the Meeting Place Mission, Burke Pride, House of Refuge, Burke County Public Schools, Burke County Literacy Council and other worthy causes.

For more information on the Morganton Humanist Alliance, visit

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