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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Employee Forum agrees to champion the Carolina Family Scholarship

The Carolina Family Scholarship program found a new home this month when the Employee Forum decided to adopt it as its own.

The action came one month after the program’s founder, Bruce Egan, spoke to the forum, asking that the organization take the scholarship under its wing to ensure that it will thrive in the future.

Egan said he saw the need for the scholarship about a decade ago when he realized lower-paid employees who work at Carolina could not afford to send their own children to college.

Forum Chair Charles Streeter said Egan, who is retired, approached the forum because he understood that the scholarship needed an organizational sponsor to continue to champion it.

Streeter said the forum will assume responsibility for raising awareness – so that more employees apply for the scholarships for their children – and to raise money so that more scholarships can be awarded each year.

The program began with $300,000 in seed money and has received an additional $40,000 of support since. Streeter said the forum is a natural home for the scholarship because, like the forum, it was created to address the needs of staff members on campus.

The need-based scholarship is open to faculty members as well, but nearly all the recipients are staff members.

Each year, a selection committee of two faculty members and two staff members chooses recipients based on their applications and their financial need. Each recipient receives $2,000 a year for four years, provided that the recipient remains in good academic standing.

Matt Brody, associate vice chancellor for Human Resources, also gave what may be his last presentation to the forum before he leaves Carolina for a new position with General Administration in January.

Brody, who has worked at Carolina for 12 years and forged strong ties with the forum, said he had enjoyed working with the group and supported its mission of bringing the concerns and interests of staff to the fore so they could be addressed.

When forum members began clapping as he walked to the podium to speak, Brody deadpanned, “Hold your applause until I do something meaningful.”

But Brody’s instructions were unnecessary: As forum members acknowledged, he already had.