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NC State College of Education Sets Fundraising Record in FY2021, Allowing Even More Support for Students

Belltower lit red

NC State’s College of Education received $14,006,877 in gifts and new commitments in 2020-2021—the highest amount in philanthropic investments the college has received in a single fiscal year since records have been kept. The previous high of $13.4 million was set in 2017-2018 when the college celebrated its 90th anniversary. In addition, in 2020-2021, the college had its second highest number of donors, only slightly behind the number of donors in 2017-2018.

“I’m deeply grateful for our donors, as they make it possible for us to solve educational problems and prepare extraordinary educators for North Carolina and beyond. Their recording-setting investments in our college over the past year, as we have faced educational challenges like never before because of the pandemic, has been profoundly inspiring and affirming,” said NC State College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz.

“We’re fortunate to have so many individuals and organizations who believe in our mission to improve the educational success of all learners. Specifically, they are enabling us to widen access to NC State and provide more support for our students who will go on to serve as extraordinary educators who strengthen the lives of children, families and communities across North Carolina and beyond. A gift to the College of Education is truly the gift that keeps on giving.”

Below is a look at a few of the development activities in 2020-2021 that contributed to the College of Education’s record year in giving—and the impact of that donor support.

Gift box with dollar amount of over $14 million that the College of Education received in 2020-2021

Preparing 100 Teachers for Eastern North Carolina

The NC State College of Education will establish the Transformational Scholarships Program and prepare 100 teachers for Eastern North Carolina thanks to a $7.25 million charitable grant from the Anonymous Trust. 

The college will welcome a cohort of 20 Transformational Scholars in the 2022-2023 academic year and add 20 more per year in each of the following four years. Transformational Scholars will be students of extraordinary potential to impact education in Eastern North Carolina.  

Each Transformational Scholar will receive $10,000 per year in scholarship support, professional development programs and mentorship over four years as they prepare to become highly effective educators who teach in Eastern North Carolina following their graduation.  For educational leaders in the region such as David Lewis, Wayne County Public Schools superintendent; Erica Shoulders-Royster ’12MSA, ’20EDD, Franklin County Early College High School principal; and Rashard Curmon ’17MSA, Northeast Elementary School principal, the Transformational Scholarships Program represents an opportunity to strengthen the teacher pipeline in the communities they call home:

Honoring Darla Buchanan, Closing the Teacher Diversity Gap

An anonymous couple from Raleigh donated $20,000 to establish the Darla Buchanan Scholarship to help address the urgent need for a more diverse teaching and administration staff in North Carolina and beyond.

The equity-focused scholarship for undergraduate students is named in honor of Darla Buchanan, a Black teacher from Topeka, Kansas, who lost her position at the end of the 1952-1953 school year due to an unintended consequence of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

The Raleigh couple learned about Darla Buchanan while listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast. Episode 3 of the season, titled “Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment,” featured a reading of Buchanan’s termination letter. That episode, the Raleigh couple said, opened their eyes to injustices that took place in the wake of U.S. school desegregation. In all, more than 40,000 Black educators across the nation, including Buchanan, lost their jobs after the Brown v. Board decision.

“It’s incredibly important to have a scholarship housed in our college named after Darla Buchanan, whose legacy will serve as a powerful reminder of the beginning of the teacher diversity gap and why it’s more critical than ever for our college to lead the way in improving education and in preparing educators who are part of the solution in addressing today’s challenges,” said Dean Mary Ann Danowitz.

“It is exciting to represent a scholarship that supports NC State College of Education’s commitment to preparing future teachers and/or leaders to serve the children in all communities in North Carolina.”
—Carla Gibson ’25

The first recipients of the Darla Buchanan Scholarship are incoming student Carla Gibson of Belmont, North Carolina, and junior Eduardo Herrera-Rodriquez of Apex, North Carolina.

“Being named a recipient of the inaugural Darla Buchanan Scholarship is an honor of mine. It is exciting to represent a scholarship that supports NC State College of Education’s commitment to preparing future teachers and/or leaders to serve the children in all communities in North Carolina,” Gibson said. “It is a great privilege to receive a scholarship in honor of Darla Buchanan. Learning the backstory of the Darla Buchanan Scholarship is such an inspiration to keep in mind, and knowing that as a future teacher, I could be a part of reducing the dropout rate in African-American students.”

Setting the Standards of Excellence, Creating the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships

The College of Education received 487 gifts to its Excellence Fund on NC State’s Day of Giving in March 2021. That was the most gifts made to any fund at NC State that day.

Gifts to the College of Education’s Excellence Fund support student scholarships and experiences, as well as initiatives related to educational equity and innovation.

With investments made in the Excellence Fund over the past year, the college established the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships, which will provide $40,000 over four years to one incoming student and $20,000 over four years to eight incoming students and one transfer student. These students will also receive a $1,000 study abroad stipend and $2,000 in professional development.

“Being a recipient of this scholarship and going into college makes me want to work even harder to be sure I keep this amazing title. It also makes me want to help others get the chance to receive this amazing scholarship.”
—Anyah Moore ’25

“It is such an honor to be named a Dean’s Excellence Scholar—to know that the dean hand-picked me to be one of the scholars out of the thousands of applications, makes me feel extremely blessed and honored,” said Anyah Moore ’25, a Dean’s Excellence Scholarships recipient and an incoming student from Charlotte, North Carolina, who plans to major in elementary education with special education dual licensure. “Being a recipient of this scholarship and going into college makes me want to work even harder to be sure I keep this amazing title. It also makes me want to help others get the chance to receive this amazing scholarship.”

In addition to awarding 10 Dean’s Excellence Scholarships, thanks to gifts to the Excellence Fund, the college also named 11 incoming and transfer students as Transformative Leaders who will receive a $1,000 study abroad stipend, a $1,200 paid internship and $3,000 in professional development.

Growing Student Support Endowment, Helping Grow Student Enrollment

Nearly 60% of students in the College of Education qualify for need-based financial aid. To lower financial barriers for them and help attract additional promising students to the college, the College of Education Board created a Resolution on Student Support to grow the student support endowment to $12 million by December 2021 and to offer at least $1 million in direct support to students per year.

As of June 30, 2021, the pledges and commitments toward the student scholarship endowment had already reached $11.89 million with six months to go to reach its goal, an increase of 66% since 2018’s figures.

“Our donors are a crucial element of not only these students’ or this college’s success, but also the success of education across North Carolina,” said Matt Friedrick, the college’s executive director of development. “Donors lower the financial barriers facing aspiring educators, and in the process, they build a wider and stronger pipeline of educators for North Carolina.”

Increasing the value of the endowment enables the college to increase support for students. Over the past year, the college awarded 217 scholarships—112 to graduate students and 105 to undergraduates. Additionally, the Board set a goal to increase the annual amount impacting students to $1 million. That goal was met this past year as students benefited from $1,074,652 in aid—a growth of 99% since FY18.

217 scholarships or fellowships awarded to College of Education students in 2020-2021

“As the college awards more scholarships,” Friedrick said, “the college is able to attract and enroll more students.” This fall, the college anticipates welcoming its largest and most diverse group of incoming students in at least 10 years.

In addition to current support for students this past year, several donors, including the College of Education’s 2020 Distinguished Alumna Neill McLeod ’72, ’74EDD, have pledged to include the College of Education and the NC State Foundation in their estate plans. Typically made through a documented bequest or a retirement account beneficiary designation, they have chosen to create a scholarship endowment as a way to share their legacy with future generations of students, while still preserving their resources now while they need them.

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