Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, has announced a $3 million gift from Fred and Alice Stanback.
The gift will fund scholarships for students who enroll in the fall of 2020 and plan to major in the humanities, a field related to the environment and sustainability, or education, with $1 million earmarked for each of the three focus areas. The scholarships will be renewable for four years, provided that recipients keep their declared major in the designated area and continue to make successful academic progress toward graduation.
"At a time when much of American higher education is shifting to focus solely on professional degree programs, these generous scholarship gifts allow Catawba to be a bright beacon for prospective students seeking degrees in education, humanities, and liberal arts while seamlessly blending professional studies and career preparation," said the college's dean of students and senior vice president, Jared R. Tice.
Heirs to the Stanback Headache Powder fortune, Fred Stanback and his family are longtime supporters of the college, as well as other institutions of higher education in North Carolina and environmental causes. In 2012, Catawba College named its 189-acre environmental preserve and gardens — whose principal benefactor was Stanback's mother, Elizabeth — in their honor.
"More than studying subjects like history, languages, religious studies, and philosophy, a degree in a liberal arts field helps provide skills that are valued by employers such as critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and the ability to view challenges from multiple points of view," said Constance Rogers-Lowery, a professor and the college's provost. "These scholarships help make pursuing a degree in a liberal studies field affordable so that students have every opportunity to gain these qualities that are ever-more important in our society."