Chancellor Carol L. Folt names need-based scholarships to honor Bridge Builders

Increase font size
Decrease font size

For immediate use


Chancellor Carol L. Folt names need-based scholarships to honor Bridge Builders

Scholarships are named for those who helped fulfill Carolina’s mission as a public institution and whose leadership represents the values that define the University. 


(Chapel Hill, N.C.- Jan. 23, 2018)—After receiving nominations from the campus community and the general public, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt has named 20 scholarships for “Bridge Builders,” individuals whose work, advocacy and personal example helped forge a more inclusive, unified and aspirational Carolina community.


The need-based scholarships will recognize people who helped unite and strengthen the Carolina community through their work and advocacy, like Daniel Pollitt, a School of Law professor who fought to desegregate Chapel Hill and advance civil rights in North Carolina, and Susie Marshall Sharp, the first woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.  Another example is Larry D. Keith, who paved the way for hundreds of students of color to succeed in the health professions when he served as Director of the Medical Education Development program.  A full list of Bridge Builders can be found here.


“By honoring these courageous Bridge Builders with scholarships in their name, we find new ways to represent and celebrate our diverse history,” said Chancellor Folt. “These individuals helped strengthen our community with their advocacy, and we believe these scholarships will serve as motivation for our students to discover and thrive as they carve their own paths at Carolina.”


Folt was inspired to launch this initiative after former Carolina student Shelby Dawkins-Law made a suggestion at the Town Hall on Race and Inclusion in November 2015. Dawkins-Law recommended University leadership find more ways to honor the contributions people of color have made to the University.  Folt asked Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, to chair a special naming committee to develop a process and recommend honorees. In 2016, Folt announced the first round of scholarships, named for Noteworthy Firsts, courageous people who represent important “firsts” in the University’s history.


The Bridge Builders scholarships are included as part of qualifying students’ aid packages. Recipients will be notified of their scholarships in the coming weeks, after they’re admitted to Carolina and complete a financial aid application. A reception for the scholarship recipients to honor the Bridge Builders will be held in the fall.


Chancellor Folt announced the nominating process for the Bridge Builders during University Day on Oct. 12, 2017. She invited any member of the community to nominate someone they thought was deserving of the honor. A panel of faculty and University leaders selected the 20 Bridge Builders from those nominations.


The Bridge Builders scholarships are just one way Carolina maintains its commitment as a leader in access and affordability. As part of the University’s $4.25 billion fundraising campaign, For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, The Carolina Edge, a new campaign signature initiative focused on recruiting top students, will seek to raise $1 billion for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, including the Bridge Builders scholarships, which receive donations through the History Makers Funds.




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.


University Communications contact: Kate Luck, (479) 629-6334,