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GAA Scholarships' Support Continues to Grow

One of the ways the GAA supports current students’ educational pursuits is through scholarships provided by alumni contributions. For 2013-14, the GAA and its sponsored groups are providing scholarships and other grants to 73 students, totaling more than $128,000 — that’s up from 61 students and more than $91,000 a year earlier.

GAA Scholars

In 2001, the GAA established a $500,000 scholarship endowment that provides Carolina additional resources to help attract the best and brightest students. In 2007, the GAA Board of Directors added $50,000 to the GAA Scholars program in honor of GAA President Douglas S. Dibbert ’70 as he marked 25 years of service. Top recipients, based on high school performance and SAT score, are designated as Dibbert Scholars. The scholarships are facilitated by the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid in consultation with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, with preference given to students with alumni parents. No separate application is required.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Patricia Dodson of Birmingham, Ala., daughter of William Dodson ’78;
  • Christina Farrell of Colleyville, Md., daughter of  Brenda Farrell ’79;
  • Kendall Flanigan of Atlanta (Dibbert Scholar);
  • Benjamin Horlick of Dallas, son of  Kristine Horlick ’88 and Michael Horlick ’90 (BSBA, ’91 MA);
  • Jin Young Kang of Chapel Hill, son of Wooseong Kang ’05 (PhD);
  • Charity Lackey of Raleigh; and
  • Shannon Paylor of Greensboro, daughter of Flynn Paylor Jr. ’79 (AB, ’83 MS).

Light on the Hill Society Scholarship

In 2005, during the 25th anniversary celebration of the GAA-supported Black Alumni Reunion, the BAR committee created the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship. This scholarship serves as a tribute to Carolina’s early African-American graduates of the 1950s and as a vehicle to support the academic pursuits of African-American undergraduates. Scholars are first-year students selected by the LOTH scholarship committee through an application process based upon high school academic record, leadership abilities and the diversity each will add to the University.

The LOTH Society Julius Peppers Scholar receives a $2,000 award, renewable for up to three years. The award was established in 2009 with an initial $100,000 donation from Peppers ’02, a former star football player at Carolina and current professional player for the Chicago Bears. Peppers subsequently added $250,000 to the scholarship fund. The Light on the Hill Society scholars receive a one-time $2,500 award. All scholars were honored in November during the annual BAR banquet.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Sierra Atwater of Pittsboro;
  • Victoria Davis of Charlotte (Peppers Scholar);
  • Christopher Miller of Rocky Mount;
  • Elizabeth Neal of Jacksonville;
  • Jordan Peterkin of Raleigh (Peppers Scholar); and
  • Alexis Williams of Kinston.

Local Carolina Club Scholars

GAA-sponsored Carolina Clubs are encouraged to support UNC students from their areas through scholarships. Alumni and friends raise the funds, and the scholarships are facilitated by the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. No separate application is required. Clubs contributed more than $56,000 to scholarships this year, a record amount.

These clubs awarded scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year:

  • Atlanta: Park Cannon, Brett Epstein, Sarah Tomlinson;
  • Austin, Texas: Justin Duck;
  • Boston: Justin Stidham;
  • Cabarrus/Rowan: Kyrie Moody, Jenny Patel;
  • Charlotte: Ashley Coleman, Elena Covert, Ryan Dahrouge, Timothy Egan, Emily Gray;
  • Chicago: Renee Psenka;
  • Cincinnati: Julianne Bain;
  • Dallas-Fort Worth: Alexander Jackson;
  • Fearrington Village: Elizabeth Bartholf, Franklin Gomez Flores, Kristen Scheckelhoff;
  • Foothills: Emily Wheeler, Toni Younce;
  • Greensboro: Hallie Kirkman;
  • Hampton Roads, Va.: Alexandra Gladu, McKenzie Layne;
  • Hong Kong:  Jashawnna Gladney, Melody K. Lee;
  • Kansas City: Griffin Bur;
  • Miami: Daniela Canasi;
  • New Jersey: Matthew Parr;
  • New York: Tasia Harris, Noni Harrison, David Kagan, Odera Okaneme;
  • Orange County, Calif.: Shellie McCurdy;
  • Orange-Durham: Adylan Rigdon;
  • Puget Sound, Wash.: Cherrie-Lyn Angeles;
  • Rhode Island: Hannah Collier;
  • San Diego: Isabel Hagood;
  • Wake County: Caitlin Riley; and
  • Washington, D.C.: Mark Lihn.

In addition to those scholarships, the Washington, D.C., Black Alumni Carolina Club contributed to the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship fund; the Los Angeles Carolina Club provided scholarships worth $250 to two students to participate in the UNC Hollywood Media Internship; and the Hong Kong Carolina Club provides scholarships to two UNC students to study there during the summer.

J. Maryon “Spike” Saunders Scholarship

J. Maryon “Spike” Saunders ’25 led the GAA for 43 years and built its membership from 700 to more than 15,000. Upon Saunders’ death in 1995, the GAA solicited funds to establish the scholarship in his honor. The scholarship is facilitated by the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid. No separate application is required.

This year’s recipients are Seth Boye of Raleigh and Thomas Lasater of Broadway.

McKinney-Jones Shadow Day Scholarship

The GAA-sponsored student group Order of the Bell Tower created the McKinney-Jones Shadow Day scholarship in honor of Angie McKinney-Jones ’01, the program’s creator. This one-time $500 nonrenewable scholarship is awarded to a former Shadow Day participant who will attend Carolina as a first-year student. The Shadow Day program invites high-achieving high school juniors to campus for a daylong, interactive campus visit. Recipients are selected by the OBT scholarship committee through an application process. Information about the scholarship is sent to former Shadow Day participants who are admitted to Carolina for the fall semester.

This year’s recipient is Molly Hendricks Boutwell of Louisburg.


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