Park Scholarships Raises More Than Half a Million Dollars on NC State Day of Giving


On the third NC State Day of Giving, the Park Scholarships community raised $551,466 from 513 gifts in 24 hours. From the day’s first gift, which came from a West Coast-based Park alumnus at 12:45 a.m. ET, to the last, which arrived seconds before midnight, 295 members of the Park community — current students, alumni, parents, family members, staff, faculty, Selection Committee members, and more — came together to keep the program moving forward, now and always.

Celebrating 25 Years

The day started strong with a 250-gift challenge issued by Park alumnus Wade Colburn ’14. In celebration of Park Scholarships’ 25th year, Colburn committed to making an additional $2,500 gift when the program reached 250 gifts. Emily Holmes ’07 made the 250th gift at 7:30 p.m. and unlocked the $2,500 challenge to benefit the Park Scholarships Sustaining Endowment. With growing momentum, the Park community rallied to raise an additional 263 gifts in the final four hours of the day.

Growing the Class of 2025

When NC State alumni and Park parent Vijay Desai ’72, learned that available funding for the Class of 2025 would cover only 39 Park Scholars, Desai created a new pathway for impact. In honor of his late wife, Maya Desai ’71, and their daughter, Anushri Desai ’10, a Park Scholar in the Class of 2010, Vijay Desai established a new way to support the program: a one-time, current-use gift to fund one Park Scholarship immediately. Through the Desai family’s inspiring generosity, NC State’s Class of 2025 will now have 40 Park Scholars.

9th Co-Named Park Scholarship

Park parents’ philanthropy continued with the second major gift that came through on NC State Day of Giving. Long-serving Selection Committee leader and Park parent Brent Bumgarner created a planned gift with his wife, Laura, establishing the 9th co-named Park Scholarship. This extended the trend in which each NC State Day of Giving campaign has marked the creation of a new co-named Park Scholarship. This gift — a $350,000 endowment — will be matched 100 percent by funds previously given by the Park Foundation and will fund the full cost of one four-year Park Scholarship in perpetuity.

Social Connections

NC State Day of Giving features many fun ways to support Park Scholarships. From a hashtag match challenge in which participants tweeted what they loved about NC State to earn $10 for Park Scholarships, to social media competitions for exceptional Pack pets, our community seized opportunities to get involved. From Bark Scholars to a very SPIFFY cat, here are a few of our favorite posts of the day:

SPIFFY cat post

Hourly Challenges

For the third year in a row, Park Scholarships won the university’s 8 p.m. Most Young Alumni Gifts Challenge. Whichever college, program, or fund received the most gifts from graduates of the last ten years (2010-2020) earned a $1,500 bonus. Thanks to Park alumni who made more than 150 gifts that hour, Park Scholarships was named the winner. Park parent giving was also remarkably strong. In addition to the major gifts mentioned above, Park parent giving put the program neck-in-neck with the Division of Academic and Student Affairs during the 9 p.m. Most Parent Gifts Challenge, and Park Scholarships narrowly finished in second place.

In the Bonus

Gifts of all sizes make a difference in supporting Park Scholarships’ work to create sustaining scholarships, invest in inclusion, and promote diversity and enrichment. Park donors’ 513 gifts elevated the program to third place on the University Priorities leaderboard, leading to $3,427 in bonus funds. All told, through engagement in social media challenges, the leaderboard challenge, and other matching gift challenges, Park Scholarships earned more than $5,000 in bonus funds, bringing the day’s total above $556,000.

An Extraordinary Impact

Collectively, gifts to the Park Scholarships program across all three NC State Day of Giving campaigns have raised $1,316,919 for scholarships, diversity programming, and enrichment. A total of 1,625 gifts have been made by members of the Park Scholarships community, including scholars from all 25 Park classes. Three co-named Park Scholarships have been initiated by Park alumni and Park parents, and $141,023 has been raised specifically for the program’s One Park One Pack: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund. The cumulative impact of this giving is truly transformational.

The Strength of the Pack

The Park community’s dedicated support played an important role in lifting the university’s performance during the 2021 NC State Day of Giving. With 14,272 gifts totaling $58,103,657, the Wolfpack set a national record for dollars raised during a university giving day, according to the consulting firm State of Wow. Donors from all 100 counties in North Carolina, all 50 states, and 23 countries joined together to invest in NC State students, faculty, staff, research, and programs.

NC State Day of Giving will return March 23, 2022.