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Funds Honor Stafford’s Passion and Service

“Students First” is more than just a catchphrase for retiring Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Thomas H. Stafford Jr., it’s a philosophy. In honor of his 41 years of service to NC State, Stafford’s legacy, drive and passion for students will be imprinted on the university through two endowments: The Dr. Thomas H. Stafford Student Leadership Endowment and the Stafford Endowment for ARTS NC STATE Student Travel.

The Stafford Student Leadership Endowment, formerly known as the Wolfpack Student Initiative, will honor students with an annual scholarship based on demonstrated financial need and leadership in a registered student organization on campus. The initiative was created in 2001 under the leadership of then-student body president Harold Pettigrew.

A Friend to Students

Dr. Tom Stafford takes the stage during NC State's 125th birthday party. He retires this year after four decades at the university.

Chandler Thompson, 2011-12 student body president, and Buddy Bryson, 2010-12 student body treasurer, led the effort to rename the scholarship in Stafford’s honor.

“Dr. Stafford has been a dedicated supporter of all students,” Thompson says, “But he’s shown special interest in student government. His dedication to all students and his presence at Student Senate meetings motivated us to spearhead this project.”

Friends of the Arts

The Stafford Endowment for ARTS NC STATE Student Travel will reward students for excellence in the arts by enabling them to participate in off-campus arts opportunities. Named in honor of both Stafford and his wife Judy, the endowment recognizes the couple’s tireless efforts on behalf of ARTS NC STATE. According to Associate Vice Chancellor Alex Miller, “Our students love the Staffords because they support the arts so strongly, and they attend nearly every performance and exhibition produced on campus.”

The Staffords will also receive this year’s Bowers Medal of Arts, which is presented annually to ARTS NC STATE’s most committed supporters for their advocacy, support and dedication to the arts at the university.

How to Contribute

If you would like to support the Dr. Thomas H. Stafford Student Leadership Endowment and/or the Stafford Endowment for Arts NC State Student Travel, please:

  1. Give online at
    Under How should we use your gift?
    Choose “I would like to give to a fund not listed here.”
    Write Stafford Student Leadership Endowment and/or Stafford Endowment for Arts.
  2. Make checks payable to Annual Giving for NCSU.
    Write Stafford Student Leadership Endowment or Stafford Endowment for Arts in the memo.
    Send the check to Annual Giving for NCSU, Alumni & Donor Records, Campus Box 7474, Raleigh, NC 27695-7474.

“Dr. Stafford has built a lasting legacy at NC State and it is only fitting that these endowments reflect his commitment to bettering the institution,” says Eileen Coombes, assistant director of the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service. “Please consider honoring his legacy by giving to these funds.”

A Fond Farewell

Attend a celebration in honor of Stafford from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the McKimmon Center. Coworkers, retirees and friends are welcome to attend. For more information or to RSVP, send an email to