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College of Education Sets New College Record for Gifts Received on NC State’s 2024 Day of Giving; Will Establish 5 New Scholarships, High-Impact Experiences Fund for Students

On NC State’s sixth Day of Giving, on March 20, 2024, donors made 992 gifts to the College of Education, the most gifts the college has ever received on the day. Additionally, for the third year in a row, the college won the Faculty and Staff Giving Challenge. 

The gifts will go toward benefiting students and ensuring they are prepared to become extraordinary educators by creating and expanding scholarships, funding high-impact student experiences and equity initiatives, and fostering educational innovation. 

“Thanks to donor support on Day of Giving, more students will pursue their dream of becoming educators, more students will deepen their education through high-impact experiences and the College of Education will expand its reputation as the college that prepares North Carolina’s best educators,” said Matt Friedrick, the college’s executive director of development.

The record-breaking number of gifts surpassed the college’s next highest total of 961 gifts in 2023 and made it possible for the College of Education to meet a challenge offered by Mike Ward ’77, ’81MS, ’93EDD, professor of practice and former North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction, and his wife, Hope Morgan Ward, a retired bishop in the United Methodist Church. When the college reached 500 gifts, the couple donated an additional $50,000 toward student scholarships.

In addition to the Wards’ gift, additional support will allow for the creation of the following new student scholarships:

  • The Garriss Family Scholarship Endowment: A $200,000 need-based scholarship endowment supporting undergraduate students in mathematics education with a preference for students from eastern North Carolina. This scholarship was created thanks to donors Sue Garris ’77, ’78MED and her husband, Dan Garriss. 
  • The Sischo Scholarship: A scholarship supporting graduate students in elementary education who are currently in-service teachers and are pursuing a graduate degree to enhance their teaching practice. This scholarship was created thanks to NC State College of Education board member Kathy Sischo and her husband, NC State Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Brian Sischo in honor of the multiple educators who are part of the Sischo family.. 
  • The Lee Ann and Charlie Spahr Scholarship: A scholarship supporting undergraduate students in mathematics education. This scholarship was created thanks to donors Lee Ann Spahr ’80MS and her husband, Charlie Spahr.
  • The Ronny L. Brooks Scholarship: A need-based scholarship supporting undergraduate students in the College of Education, with preferences to those whose major will lead to K-12 teaching licensure and are from North Carolina. This scholarship was created thanks to donors Rhonda Bullock, Beverly Colbourne and Jeanette Moore, and is in honor of their father, Ronny L. Brooks ’57. 
  • The Fletcher C. Sawyer Scholarship: A need-based scholarship supporting undergraduates in the College of Education, with preferences to those whose major will lead to K-12 teaching licensure and students in middle grades education. This scholarship was created thanks to Cassandra and David Creekman. 

Donors also made gifts that will enhance the college’s ability to provide unmatched student experiences. 

Anona Smith Williams ’91MS, ’02EDD, who recently retired from the college as the associate dean for student success and strategic community engagement and is the college’s 2023 Distinguished Alumna, made a $10,000 gift to support the Leadership Institute for Future Teachers.

Additionally, donors Jerry and Diane Cunningham made a $25,000 gift to establish the High-Impact Experiences Fund, which will support the We Teach for NC Spring Break, student teaching in high-need districts, the Leadership Institute for Future Teachers and other experiences for College of Education students.

The College of Education community also came together to win giving and social media challenges throughout the day, which resulted in additional funding:

  • Faculty and Staff Challenge: Faculty and staff made 292 gifts between 2 and 3 p.m., earning the college an additional $1,000 in challenge funds. This is the third year in a row the College of Education has won this challenge.
  • Pack Leader Recruitment Challenge: Sixty supporters signed up to be Pack Leaders, which earned the college an extra $2,500. The college also had the highest number of Pack Leader You+2 completions, earning another $2,500. 
  • Pack Leader Challenges: Kelly Fitzgerald ’89 had the highest number of gifts of any Pack Leader, which earned the college an extra $2,000. Barry Gupton, another Pack Leader for the College of Education, was one of six Pack Leaders drawn at random to win a bonus $1,000 for the college.
  • Where’s the Wuf? Scavenger Hunt: A College of Education supporter found one of the five Wufs hidden across NC State’s campus and online, earning the college an extra $400. 

By winning these challenges, plus additional money based on its standing on the Day of Giving leaderboard and through the NC State University Foundation 500 Gifts Challenge, the College of Education received nearly $18,000 in prize money, the most it has earned on a Day of Giving.