North Carolina State University Selects Fifteenth Class of Park Scholars

North Carolina State University has named 53 Park Scholars for the Class of 2014. These exceptional young women and men were selected based on their potential in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The Park Scholarship is valued at $80,000 for residents of North Carolina and $135,000 for students from other states.

NC State received a record number of applications for Park Scholarships this year; recipients were selected from over 1,300 candidates. The recipients, who represent 24 North Carolina counties and 12 states, are an accomplished group.

Recipients include a creator of a youth anti-drug program, recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, founder of a program which provides school supplies to children in need, and participants in research projects targeting cancer as well as developing sustainable water solutions in Hawaii. Globally, recipients have worked on environmental protection projects in the Galapagos Islands, founded a bookmobile program in Mexico, taught English in Estonia, and participated in service projects in countries such as Belize, Nicaragua, and Thailand.

“These students have demonstrated their commitment to excellence and service to others through their varied and impressive accomplishments,” said Eva Holcomb, director of the Park Scholarships program. “They are well-prepared for the challenges that will be provided to them by an NC State education and the developmental opportunities they will receive through the Park Scholarships program. This fifteenth class of Park Scholars represents a significant milestone in the Park Foundation’s dedication to education and to Roy Park’s alma mater, as their arrival will mark the entrance of more than 750 Park Scholars to NC State.”

Brief biographies of the Class of 2014 are available here.

Over 100 Finalists participated in selection activities during Finalist Weekend at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center at NC State on February 19-20, 2010. During their time on campus, Finalists were hosted by Chancellor Jim Woodward along with faculty, administrators, alumni, and current Park Scholars. Final selection activities were evaluated by more than 60 NC State faculty and alumni, one-third of whom were Park Scholar alumni. The Finalists previously participated in regional interviews conducted by over 200 NC State alumni around the state and the country.

Since its inception, the Park Scholarships program has prepared individuals for bright futures. Graduates have been the recipients of nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships such as the Marshall, Mitchell, and Fulbright awards and have gone on to pursue studies in many of the nation’s leading graduate and professional programs. Park Scholar alumni are employed by top companies and non-profit agencies, including Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco Systems, and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, as well as the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Starting my own nonprofit and foundation was something I wanted to accomplish in my life, and because of the background the Park Scholarships program provided, I was able to do just that,” says Crystal Conway ‘06, who leads an organization in Springfield, Missouri dedicated to helping children with serious illnesses. “The program gave me the confidence and tools I needed in order to be successful.”

The Park Scholarships program is among the most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarship programs in the nation. The program provides an enhanced educational experience for talented and well-prepared individuals where students develop as scholars in their chosen fields and as leaders prepared to address the problems that face humanity. Each year, approximately 50 scholarships are awarded, with two-thirds to North Carolina residents, to outstanding high school seniors for undergraduate study in any discipline.

The Park Scholarships are named for the late Roy H. Park, a 1931 NC State alumnus who created the charitable Park Foundation. The Park Foundation, based in Ithaca, New York, provides support for programs across the nation related to higher education, media, and the environment. For more information about the program, visit Park Scholarships.