Julius Peppers Endowed Scholarship Fund
The Peppers Scholarship was created in 2009 when Carolina football alumnus Julius Peppers ’02 donated $100,000 to the General Alumni Association’s Light on the Hill Society Scholarship program. In 2012, the fund was endowed when he made a second gift of $250,000.
“I am happy to support the Light on the Hill Scholarship,” said Peppers. “For a number of years, I have been thinking about how I could give something back to the University. Helping young people achieve their dream is a personal priority for me. Giving to this particular effort is my attempt to assist and reward some of our best and brightest students.”
Peppers, who also lettered in basketball at Carolina, was a key contributor to the Tar Heels’ reaching the 2000 Final Four. In football, he starred as a defensive end and won the Lombardi Award, given to the country’s top college lineman. He was a unanimous All-American in 2001.
Peppers was picked No. 2 overall in the 2002 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers, and also played for the Chicago Bears from 2010 to 2013 and the Green Bay Packers from 2014 to 2016. After rejoining the Panthers for the 2017 season, he retired in 2019.
The Light on the Hill Society Scholarship is managed by a volunteer advisory board and was created by a group of alumni who annually attend the UNC Black Alumni Reunion, the alumni association’s largest affinity reunion. Richard “Stick” Williams ’75, chair emeritus of the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship advisory board, said Peppers’ gift “epitomizes the man that Julius has grown to be.
“In his very quiet way, he has reached out on a number of occasions to encourage the growth and engagement of young people,” Williams said. “Serving the community and giving back is very important to him – this gift to the Light on the Hill Scholarship proves just that.”
The first Peppers scholarship was awarded to Brian J. Harris ’13 in 2009. The award was $1,000 and renewable up to three years. As the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship fund has grown, the number of Peppers scholars and the amount of the award has increased. Currently, two Peppers scholars are chosen annually and receive renewable awards in the amount of $4,000 each.
Read more about application requirements.