The Park Scholarships program at North Carolina State University has named 40 students to its Class of 2020, and the 1000th Park Scholar – the first to be funded entirely by donors beyond the Park Foundation – will soon enroll at NC State.
Biographies of each new Park Scholar, listed by nation, state, and county, are available via PDF: Park Class of 2020
“Twenty years ago, NC State named its first 25 Park Scholars – the Class of 2000,” said Park Scholarships director Eva Feucht. “Two decades and nearly seventeen classes of graduates later, the Park Scholarships have created a vibrant network of leaders who are creating meaningful and lasting change in service to society, and we are excited to welcome the 1000th Park Scholar to their ranks. Our alumni include scores of health care providers, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs and business leaders, nonprofit personnel and public servants, designers, architects, scientists, engineers, members of the U.S. Armed Services, and much more. The Class of 2020 joins a thriving community.”
The Park Scholarships are named for the late Roy H. Park ’31, an NC State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation, dedicated to education, media, and the environment. In 1996, the Park Scholarships were established at NC State with a generous grant from the Park Foundation. To date, the Park Foundation has committed nearly $140 million to support the scholarship, including their September 2013 commitment of $50 million to begin an endowment at NC State. This endowment, with others’ support, will sustain the program in perpetuity. Thanks to generous contributions from additional donors, the Class of 2020 will include the first independently funded scholar.
The new class was selected from a record-setting pool of just over 2,000 outstanding applicants from 42 states and 97 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. A Selection Committee comprising more than 300 dedicated and talented NC State alumni, faculty, and friends conducted application review, interviews, and outreach.
The 21st class, representing nine states plus China, comprises student body presidents, varsity athletic team captains, Eagle Scouts, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients, and National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. Among the class’ members are an orchestra concertmaster, editors of school publications, numerous tutors and hospital volunteers, ambassadors of 4-H and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a nationally recognized woodworker, leaders of women’s empowerment groups, and a member of a citywide race relations forum. Their service work and philanthropic interests are both broad and deep; one provides support to homeless men with substance abuse, several volunteer with disabled children or repair homes for those in need, one teaches English to Chinese migrant children, another conducted research to aid divorcing families, and yet another coordinates the distribution of backpacks filled with school supplies to children in the foster care system.
The Park Scholarships program brings exceptional students to NC State University based on outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The program develops and supports Park Scholars in these areas, preparing them for lifelong contributions to the campus, state, nation, and world.
Park Scholarships include opportunities for innovative enrichment activities such as grants for undergraduate research and study abroad, making this award one of the most prestigious and comprehensive undergraduate scholarships in the nation.