College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean James Oblinger hosted two special scholarship endowment signings in mid-March. First, Fred Burt and his wife, Shirley, signed and presented a check to fund the Lt. Colonel Fred W. and Shirley C. Burt Agricultural Scholarship Endowment. Second, Marion and Jane Dilday, James Jeffreys and George Spain created three new undergraduate scholarship awards as they signed an amendment to the North Carolina Seedsmens Association Scholarship Endowment and Foil W. McLaughlin Fellowship Award Endowment. The Seedsmens Association will match their gifts to create the Marion and Jane Dilday Scholarship, the James and Lois Jeffreys Scholarship, and the George and Gladys Spain Scholarship.
The Burt Scholarship Endowment is to be used to provide merit-based scholarships for undergraduate students enrolled in any traditional agriculture program in the College. Students must be planning to return to their family farm after graduation. First priority will be given to students who fulfill those criteria and live within a 100-mile radius of Wake County.
The criteria reflect the Burt familys Wake County agricultural heritage, which goes back centuries, with ancestor John Burt receiving his Wake County farm as a land grant from the King of England in the 1750s. The remaining 800 acres of that original land grant are still farmed by the family.
I have been very blessed in many ways in my life, by my heritage and my parents, said Fred Burt at the signing ceremonies. There comes a time when you need to pass on those blessings to other people and allow them to have the opportunities that you had. And we need to have young people going back to the farm.
The new scholarships created by the Dildays, Jeffreyses and Spains are three of five planned Named Matching Gift N.C. Seedsmens Association Scholarships. They are to be awarded as merit-based scholarships with a need component.
is the latest amendment to the original agreement [with the Seedsmens
Association], each amendment modifying and adding dollars to the endowment,
said Oblinger. Now the Seedsmens Association has said
that if anyone in the organization endowed at a $25,000 level, the
Seedsmen would match that. Today, three of those five matches are
present to sign the agreements to put those endowments in perpetuity.