Chancellor and Susan Woodson Give $1.15 Million to Launch Scholarship

Since their arrival at NC State in 2010, Chancellor Randy Woodson and his wife, Susan, have demonstrated their leadership in many ways, including embracing and promoting the importance of philanthropy for the university’s future.

The latest example of the Woodsons’ deep commitment and outstanding leadership is their $1.15 million gift to help launch the NC State Employee Dependent’s Tuition Scholarship. Their donation, a combination of cash and deferred gifts to provide immediate and ongoing support, will be combined with additional private money to provide $2,000 annual scholarships starting in the fall 2016 semester.

“NC State is experiencing what might be the most successful time in our university’s long, proud history, and the credit is due to our tremendous faculty and staff,” the chancellor said.

“Susan and I couldn’t be more proud to give back to the Wolfpack community that has been so good to us.”

The Woodsons hope the new scholarship program encourages and enables more employees’ dependents to earn their degrees from NC State while also serving as a “thank you” for employees’ hard work. Additionally, the scholarships could help attract and retain more outstanding faculty and staff, a key goal in the university’s strategic plan.

The Woodsons’ latest gift to NC State demonstrates tangible philanthropic leadership as the university prepares for its largest-ever fundraising campaign, which will be launched publicly next fall.

Over the past five years, the Woodsons have given generously to many areas across campus, directly supporting the people, places and programs of NC State.

The new NC State Employee Dependent’s Tuition Scholarship will offer awards of at least $2,000 per year for a maximum of four years to all dependents of full-time employees who are successfully admitted to the university as undergraduate students and meet basic requirements. Current students in good academic standing will be eligible to receive scholarships for their remaining undergraduate years. Final details of eligibility and criteria will be shared soon with the campus community, but family income and employee job function will not be factors. The value of the award could increase based on the number of qualified applicants and available funds.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” the chancellor said. “We’ve been able to pull together enough resources to get the scholarship off the ground, but we need the ongoing generosity of the NC State community to help us fund it in perpetuity and grow the amount of support. We need to raise money both through annual gifts and gifts to the endowment.”

In the face of declining public funding for higher education in recent years, diversifying financial resources is a priority in NC State’s strategic plan. Woodson has stressed increasing NC State’s endowment, for example, as the cornerstone of a bigger, bolder future. The endowment is on track to top $1 billion this year, an increase of more than 90 percent since fiscal year 2011 and well ahead of the original goal of surpassing that milestone in fiscal year 2019.

Buoyed by donors such as the Woodsons, NC State has been setting records for private funding support. This past year, the university raised $208.5 million, up 11 percent from the prior year and 95 percent since fiscal year 2011. Along with employee and staff dedication, philanthropy plays a critical role in the university’s upward trajectory, Woodson said.

The university also is setting records for student academic success, increasing its leadership of interdisciplinary approaches and important public-private partnerships, and attracting more sponsored research than ever before. Program rankings, facilities and athletics are on the rise. NC State continues to be recognized for its strong return on investment, its $6.5 billion annual economic impact in the state and its commitments to service, extension, collaboration, innovation and diversity.

Jim Owens, chair of the NC State Board of Trustees, said the Woodsons continue to set an example of genuine, visionary leadership that is building community and helping the university reach its great potential.

“NC State has been on a steady upward march for the last five years, and the vision that has been laid out is immeasurable,” Owens said. “I’m impressed by the way the leadership on our campus is driving us to achieve that strategic plan. We are very fortunate to have Chancellor Woodson at the helm.”