Cumberland Community Foundation is awarding nearly $180,000 in scholarships to local high school students. Ninety-three of the grants totaling $179,400 were selected by the Cumberland Community Foundation Scholarship Advisory Group.
Most of the awards were based on financial need, academic excellence and citizenship. A few other scholarships were based on a special skill or area of interest, such as chemistry, fire science or elementary education.
Foundation Board Member Gail Riddle said she got a lot out of reading the scholarship applications. “It has renewed my faith in our future,” Riddle said as the scholarships were announced. “To the parents, I want to thank you for raising your students to be the best that they can be,” she added.
Cumberland Community Foundation was established in 1980 with a gift of $576,840 from Dr. Lucile Hutaff. She had a vision of the community coming together to make life better. Today the Foundation is regarded as one of the most successful community foundations in the country.
It is supported by thousands of people from all walks of life and varied charitable interests. “The Foundation manages over 500 individual charitable funds totaling over $76 million,” said Executive Director Mary Holmes.
This year’s scholarships ranged from $500 to $10,000. The Dr. Lu, Sylvia and Daniel Kiang Scholarship for Chinese Students Fund awarded Yi Dong, Shuang Wu, Chung Lam Lau (renewal) and Yu Diyang Zhang (renewal) scholarships of $10,000 each. Wu will attend North Carolina State University. The others are attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Sixteen local students each received $3,000 Ella Smith Downing scholarships totaling $53,000. A 17th student was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the same fund.
Alexandra M. Thomas received a smaller but equally significant $500 scholarship from the Leonard G. McLeod Theatre Scholarship Fund. Le Feng also received a $500 award from the Robert N. Shuller SfL+a Architects Scholarship.
Cumberland Community Foundation also awards an additional $500,000 in scholarships annually through the Robert H. Short/Cumberland Community Foundation Scholars Program.
For the last five years, these scholarships were reserved for Cumberland County high school graduates who elected to attend Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville State University or Methodist University.
Selection was administered by the colleges with emphasis on filling the gaps in funding for each applicant student based on their unique financial needs. These awards ranged from $300 to $12,000 per year. In the last five years, the Robert H. Short Scholars Program has awarded $2,377,000 to the three local colleges.
Excerpts From an Epitaph by Mary Lynn Bryan on Behalf of Her Friend, Dr. Lucile Hutaff
Dr. Lucile West Hutaff, a Fayetteville native, graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1929. She attended Women’s College in Greensboro for two years and received her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
Dr. Hutaff returned to Fayetteville in 1972 upon her retirement as a professor at Bowman-Gray Medical School in Winston-Salem. She started Cumberland Community Foundation in July 1980 with an unrestricted gift of over $575,000. Cumberland County will be forever grateful for the vision and dedication of Dr. Lucile Hutaff for her gift of the Cumberland Community Foundation, and for leading the way by example.