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What is the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship?

The Light on the Hill Society Scholarship effort began during the 2005 Black Alumni Reunion. Organizers challenged alumni to contribute $1,952 each – representing the 1952 class year of Harvey Beech, Carolina’s first African-American graduate – to become founding members of the scholarship fund.

Since 2005, Carolina alumni and friends have annually made tax-deductible gifts to the fund, ranging from a few dollars to several thousand, the largest being a $350,000 gift from NFL star Julius Peppers ’02.

This initiative serves as a tribute to Carolina’s African-American graduates of the 1950s and 60s by providing scholarships to current first-year African-American students. These talented scholars demonstrate academic excellence, outstanding leadership abilities, community service dedication and have great potential to become involved and informed alumni.

Supported by the UNC General Alumni Association and administered by the Light on the Hill Society Board of Directors, the program has awarded 84 scholarships: 66 Light on the Hill Society Scholars and 18 Julius Peppers scholars.