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Expanded Giving Tuesday Spotlights DEI Funds

Mr. Wuf poses with two students.
Two students pose with Mr. Wuf at Pack Appreciation Day 2021. Photo by Marc Hall.

Giving Tuesday is typically a national celebration of philanthropy observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, however, NC State is expanding its observation of Giving Tuesday beyond 24 hours to a full week, and taking that time to spotlight diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) funds that make an extraordinary difference in expanding access and opportunities for student success.

“Donor gifts help us provide supportive educational and cultural experiences for students,” said Sheri Schwab, the university’s vice provost for institutional equity and diversity.

“These experiences help them develop awareness, knowledge and skills around their own identities and those of others, making NC State more inclusive and welcoming to all while they are here.”

Schwab added that alumni then take those qualities out into the world with them, giving back to the university, the state and their own communities. From the Women and Minority Engineering Program to the Darla Buchanan Scholarship, there are countless donor-funded initiatives that strive to empower marginalized populations.

In fact, 40 new funds with a DEI focus were created in the 2020 academic year alone, thanks to the vision of alumni, parents and friends of the university.

In June 2020, for example, donors came together to create a scholarship in alumnus Tracy Hanner’s name, endowing the fund in just under a week. By that September, the first Tracy Hanner DVM Scholarship was awarded to Ebony Jones, a future veterinarian who is passionate about making the profession more accessible and inclusive to students from underrepresented populations.

Originally endowed by the Black Alumni Society over 30 years ago, the Lawrence M. Clark Memorial Undergraduate and A.M. Witherspoon Graduate Scholarships have awarded over 100 scholarships to around 60 different students since their establishment. This scholarship continues to evolve with each generation of supporters: the Eta Omicron chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha announced in October that it celebrated its 50th year at NC State by raising more than $100,000 for the funds.

At, there is information about supporting more than 20 funds like these across various university units.

“Giving Tuesday is a great way to get the message out about how important funds like these are to making NC State an extraordinary university,” says Adam Compton ’09, executive director of annual giving.

“We believe that being truly extraordinary means offering opportunities and experiences to every student who wants a brighter future — and investing in equal access to an NC State education is one of the ways you can ensure we accomplish that.”

Learn more about the work NC State’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity has been doing this semester.