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‘Our Three Winners’ Scholarships Awarded

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Three slain students are remembered at the Free Expression Tunnel. Photo by Marc Hall.

This fall, the educational legacy of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha will be handed down to the first six NC State students to receive the Our Three Winners scholarship.

NC State created the scholarship earlier this year to honor three members of the NC State community—a husband-and-wife alumni couple, and the wife’s sister, a sophomore—who were slain in February. In just six months the scholarship has raised $285,000, enough to award the inaugural $2,000 one-year scholarships to two students each in the Poole College of Management, the College of Sciences and the College of Design.

“We are pleased to honor and celebrate the lives of Deah, Yusor and Razan through these scholarships, which embody the ideals of leadership, service and creativity these amazing young people represented,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “We hope the inaugural scholarship recipients, and those who follow, will always be inspired by Our Three Winners and continually pursue their passion for improving the world.”

The scholarships are designated to support students in the colleges attended by the slain students. Barakat earned a degree in business management from the Poole College of Management before enrolling at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry. His wife, Yusor, graduated in December with a degree in biological sciences from the College of Sciences and was set to join her husband in dental school this fall. Yusor’s sister, Razan, was an architecture student in the College of Design.

The management scholarship is designated for students who demonstrate leadership in community, school, civic or other organizations. The sciences scholarship is given to students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism by performing meaningful community service without compensation. The design scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate creative achievement.

The 2015 recipients are:

  • Olivia Kehoe of Charlotte, majoring in life sciences
  • Charles Eaton of Raleigh, majoring in environmental design in architecture
  • Nicole Adam of Hickory, North Carolina, majoring in environmental design in architecture
  • Wajeha Barakat of Raleigh, majoring in business administration
  • Sarah McCain Grant of Oak Island, North Carolina, majoring in business administration

The name of the sixth recipient, a College of Sciences student, was not immediately available for release.

The scholarship fund, managed by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, was started with a $60,000 gift from the chancellor’s discretionary fund. The generosity of more than 700 donors from 34 states and six countries swelled the fund to $285,000 in pledges and commitments by the beginning of August. The scholarship continues to receive contributions online.

The next goal for the Our Three Winners endowment is to reach the $300,000 mark in order to fund the scholarships in perpetuity, with the possibility of adding more scholarships as the fund grows.

Some 15 percent of individual donors to the fund were NC State faculty or staff, 30 percent were alumni and more than half were first-time donors to the university.

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  1. This is powerful and uplifting. In the face of evil, love and victory still prevails. Love and hope never fade and fail. Evil does.
    Many blessings and success to the Barakat and Abu-Salha families. Many blessings and success to the NC-State ‘Wolfpack family. What an amazing and empowering collaboration and commitment.
    The legacies of our beloved children and community members (Deah, Yusor, and Razan) live on till the day we all breathe our last.

  2. It is inspiring to see the Barakat and Abu Salha families together with the NC State University turn a tragedy into a beacon of light to guide generations to come. I can’t think of a more noble act than help others through their educational journeys.
    God Bless you all and best wishes to the scholarship recipients.