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NC State announces $50 million gift for Park Scholars

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

N.C. State announced the largest gift in school history on Friday when Chancellor Randy Woodson  said the Park Foundation has made a $50 million gift to the Park Scholarship program.

The program brings exceptional students to N.C. State and helps them develop as scholars, leaders and community servants.

Woodson made the announcement at the Hunt Library Auditorium on Centennial Campus.

The largest gifts ever to NCSU so far are:

  • $40 million from Raleigh's Poole family for the College of Management and the golf course clubhouse under construction now
  • $20 million from the Randall B. Terry Foundation for the Terry Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • $10 million from the Prestage family to name the poultry science department
  • $10 million from Edward Fitts to name the industrial and systems engineering department.

The gift comes at a time when budgets have been tight at the state's universities after budget cuts in the last budget cycle. N.C. State had a budget of $1.35 billion for the 2012-13 academic year.

The Park Scholars have special opportunities at N.C. State, including meetings with distinguished professors. This year, the scholars will make a trip to Washington, have a retreat in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and another retreat at Black Mountain.

Park Scholars were instrumental in starting the Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh, which is scheduled for February.

The gift will come at a time when budgets have been tight at the state's universities after budget cuts in the last budget cycle. N.C. State had a budget of $1.35 billion for the 2012-13 academic year.

The gift also comes when N.C. State is seeing dramatic interest in undergraduate enrollment. There were 21,000 applications for the freshman class, and the Wolfpack enrolled 4,216.

It's also the academically strongest class in Wolfpack history. According to NCSU, 50.1 percent of the students ranked in the top 10 percent of their class. In 2009, by comparison, only 41.1 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.

The average SAT score has jumped from 1,187 in 2009 to 1,244 in 2013.

Information on NC State freshman class

The largest gift to UNC-Chapel Hill was $50 million given by Dennis and Joan Gillings.

The largest gifts ever to Duke University were $80 million in 2011 from the Duke Endowment in Charlotte to renovate parts of campus, and $75 million from the Duke Endowment in 2005 as part of a financial aid initiative.

Find out more about the Park Scholarship program

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