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Campus Life

NC State Creates Our Three Winners Scholarship Fund

For Immediate Release

NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson today announced the creation of the “Our Three Winners” scholarship endowment to honor three exceptional members of the Wolfpack family whose lives were cut tragically short.

The endowment, which has been created with insights and advice from family members, will provide annual support to students in NC State’s Poole College of Management, College of Sciences and College of Design.

Deah Barakat, 23, graduated with honors from NC State in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was a dentistry student at UNC-Chapel Hill. His wife of six weeks, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, graduated from NC State last fall with a bachelor’s in biological sciences and had recently been accepted into Carolina’s dentistry program. Yusor’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, was a sophomore in the College of Design majoring in architecture. Each was devoted to sharing their vast, caring potential locally and with the global community.

NC State is contributing institutional funds to launch the endowment and actively seeks donations from the Wolfpack and larger community to grow the fund. Instructions on how to contribute are provided below.

“Deah, Yusor and Razan exemplified the best of NC State and will forever serve as role models for our student body,” Woodson said. “Each was not only an outstanding student, but individually and as a family lived their lives bringing joy to others, helping those in need and making the world a better place.”

Woodson hopes this effort will honor in perpetuity the memories of the three avid and active members of the Wolfpack, while also highlighting the importance of acceptance, support and inclusion. Scholarship recipients will be selected on their demonstration of leadership, service and creativity.

“Deah, Yusor and Razan made a tremendous difference in our community and across the globe in their short time on this earth,” Woodson said. “We hope to always remember and honor their lives. We also intend this scholarship to be a permanent reminder that NC State must always hold as a core value a respect for diversity in all its forms and strive to maintain an environment where everyone feels safe, respected and valued.”

Through stories, testimonies and videos that have been shared at vigils and spread via social media, it is clear that Deah, Yusor and Razan lived their lives dedicated to helping others.

The three raised money to help Syrian refugees in Turkey. The week before their deaths they helped feed the homeless in downtown Durham. The three also were actively engaged in building an Interfaith Habitat for Humanity home in Wake County, bringing together Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Hindu faiths to build low-cost housing for families in need. Their lives had a worldwide impact, as more than 300 vigils were held in their memories in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and around the world.

Even as he won the nationally televised NBA Three-Point Shooting Contest last weekend, Davidson College alumnus Stephen Curry—Deah’s favorite basketball player—paid tribute to the three family members by writing “#CurryFORDEAH” and “#RIPDeah”on his shoes.

“Once I got to know his story, and who he was, it seemed right to honor him and his family, to let them know we are thinking about him and give them some kind of peace and comfort,” Curry said. “I wanted to use this platform to share their story.”

Gifts to the “Our Three Winners” Scholarship Fund can be made through the NC State website or by check with “Our Three Winners” in the memo line c/o Our Three Winners, Campus Box 7474, Raleigh, N.C. 27695-7474.

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