Endowed Scholarship Established to Honor Former Dean Mary Ann Danowitz
NC State’s College of Education has established the Mary Ann Danowitz Scholarship in honor of its former dean thanks to donations from two lead donors and other stakeholders throughout the College of Education community. When combined with matching funds from NC State’s Extraordinary Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (EOSI), this scholarship endowment has a projected value of over $200,000.
The endowment will provide need-based scholarships for undergraduate students in the College of Education.
“We’re proud to be associated with this scholarship in Mary Ann Danowitz’s name,” said Jerry and Diane Cunningham, the lead donors. “Since we share a vision of the power of education to improve the lot of our most needy, we felt this is a perfect gift in Mary Ann’s honor.”
The Cunninghams have a passion for global awareness and have worked alongside Danowitz to build up the college’s study abroad endowment. They decided to establish the scholarship in honor of Danowitz after she announced in Spring 2021 that she planned to step aside as dean on Oct. 4 to return to the faculty after leading the college for five-and-a-half years.
“This scholarship is extremely fitting of Mary Ann Danowitz’s legacy, given her tireless dedication to our students,” said Matt Friedrick, the college’s executive director of development.
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Under Danowitz’s leadership, the college experienced unprecedented growth, including increasing philanthropic investments to support students and create more scholarships. Over the past three years, the college’s annual support for students has increased 105%, from $539,000 in 2017-18 to over $1.07 million in 2020-21. Additionally, the college’s endowment has jumped 260% since June 2015, or from $3.57 million to over $12.87 million as of June 30, 2021.
In 2020-21, the college received $14,006,877 in gifts and new commitments—the highest amount in philanthropic investments the college has received in a single fiscal year since records have been kept. Among those gifts was $7.25 million from the Anonymous Trust to establish the Transformational Scholarships Program and prepare 100 teachers for Eastern North Carolina.
As another nod to Danowitz’s tenure as dean, the endowment formerly known as the College of Education Study Abroad Award Endowment has been renamed the Mary Ann Danowitz Study Abroad Endowment. This endowment provides support for international experiences for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Education. Danowitz made a leadership gift to the college several years ago to establish the endowment.
“For me, study abroad should not be an added experience. It should be an opportunity that all students at NC State have,” Danowitz said in 2019 as to why she established the endowment for study abroad scholarships. “It’s not only an investment in them. It’s an investment in their community; it’s an investment in their capabilities of working with teams of people who are different from themselves.”