NCSU gets $50M gift for scholarship endowment
Posted September 27, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A New York foundation on Friday donated $50 million to North Carolina State University to endow a prestigious scholarship program at the school.
The gift from the Park Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y., is the largest in N.C. State's history, easily topping the $40 million Waste Industries Inc. founder Lonnie Poole and his family gave in 2010 to what is now known as the Poole College of Management at the university and the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Centennial Campus.
"Through its exceptional generosity, the Park Foundation has demonstrated its passion for higher education, ensuring that the life-changing gift of an N.C. State education will be available to promising young men and women now and well into the future,” Chancellor Randy Woodson said in a statement.
The Park Scholarships program started at N.C. State in 1996 with a gift from the foundation, which was started by N.C. State alumnus Roy Park. About 45 scholarships are awarded each year, covering four years of tuition and expenses, and recipients also participate in undergraduate research and service projects, attend leadership retreats and receive special mentoring.
"If my father were alive today, this would be one of the most exciting days of his life. He loved N.C. State and credited the university with his success," Park’s daughter, Adelaide Gomer, the president of the Park Foundation, said in a statement. "My father perceived scholarships as a way to provide opportunities to young students. It was a way that his legacy could ‘pay it forward’ to assist future generations. It is a gift that keeps on giving.”
Together with other donor support, the foundation's gift will enable an endowment to provide enough income in perpetuity for scholarships to attract top students to N.C. State, officials said.
"During this challenging economic time when our university has experienced significant budget cuts, this leadership gift is especially meaningful,” Woodson said. “The Park Foundation is demonstrating how friends and supporters of our university can ensure we are able to continue providing a world-leading education to young people who will go on to significantly impact our state’s and our nation’s economic prosperity and quality of life.”