Park Scholars give back – this mindset is at the core of the program’s mission and culture. Park Scholars donate their time to charities at home and abroad, serve as community leaders, and strive to use their talents to benefit others.
The senior class legacy, a way for graduating Park Scholars to give something back to NC State, has become a tradition over the program’s 20-year history. This year’s seniors have decided to establish the Class of 2016 Endowment Award to give back to the program that has given them so much.
In September 2013, the charitable Park Foundation made a landmark $50 million commitment, laying the groundwork of an endowment for the Park Scholarships program and ensuring Park Scholars’ perpetual presence on campus. In order to build the endowment and fully fund the Park Scholarships program at its current size, NC State is seeking contributions from other generous donors.
Throughout their four years as Park Scholars, students in the Class of 2016 have seen firsthand the positive impact they and other Park Scholars have on their communities. They understand the importance of growing the program’s endowment.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the influence of the Park Scholarships program,” said Thomas Pulliam ’16. “I want the program to be able to benefit the future generations to come.”
Motivated by these convictions, the Class of 2016 has committed to raising $50,000 in endowed funds over the next five years. This endowment creates a Class of 2016 Award, which will provide partial funding annually to a Park Scholar. To maintain strong connections as alumni, members of the Class of 2016 will provide mentorship and support to the Park Scholar who receives the Class of 2016 Award each year.
“I cannot imagine my college experience without the opportunities afforded to me as a Park Scholar,” said Stephanie Wenclawski ’16, co-chair of the class legacy committee. “I believe the least I, and my classmates, can do is give back to a program that has invested in us and prepared us to be leaders in our world.”
The seniors have set an ambitious goal that they hope to achieve with help from their support networks. They are asking their parents, family members, and friends who have seen the depth and breadth of the Park Scholars’ impact to include the program among their philanthropic priorities.
“The Park Foundation’s gift was a vision of investment,” said Scott Nagley, father of Katie ’16 and Rachel ’19. “They invested in young people who demonstrate great potential with the hope that they will grow their talents to be used for the good of the community – and in turn multiply the gift many times over. In watching the NC State Park Scholarships Class of 2016 develop into the extraordinary young people they have become, I have come to realize the value of furthering this investment. I encourage others to join me in making a gift to the Class of 2016 Endowment.”
By the time they graduate, the Class of 2016 aspires to secure $50,000 in outright gifts and pledged donations to be made over the next five years. They invite those interested in contributing to the Park Scholarships Class of 2016 Endowment fund to donate online.