This year, the Park Scholarships program is proud to graduate the Class of 2015. Since they first arrived on campus in Fall 2011, these students have excelled as scholars, leaders, and in service to their communities. Their Wolfpack imprints can be seen across the globe – in the educational experience of students at an Ethiopian school, in re-built homes destroyed by fire in Chile, and even within the excavated walls of Petra, Jordan, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Their academic research and philanthropic pursuits have taken them from community gardens in Carrboro, N.C., to the frontlines of politically polarized Ukraine. They have hosted medical clinics in Ecuador through Alternative Spring Break, and worked with North Carolina non-profits to help immigrant clients find job placement.
You’ve seen one’s handiwork in campus publications as managing editor and writer for the Nubian Message. You’ve watched another roundtable with student leaders on CNN’s State of the Union. You’ve heard a third’s efforts reach pitch perfection as organizer of NC State’s inaugural South Asian a cappella competition.
They have carried on traditions and given back to the NC State and Raleigh communities as campus leaders. The Class of 2015 can proudly claim two Leaders of the Pack (Austin Bath, Rusty Mau), a Student Body President (Rusty Mau), the university’s first ever Student Body Vice President (Devan Riley), and a 2015 Mathews Medal recipient (Austin Bath). One served as co-chair of Service Raleigh (Jacob Robbins) and three directed the Krispy Kreme Challenge (Michael Harrison, Tori Huffman, Rusty Mau).
The class has excelled in the classroom, counting among them numerous members of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the Golden Chain Society, and the Order of Thirty and Three, all selected for their academic excellence and extraordinary contributions to NC State. Their achievements will only continue past graduation. Jim Turner was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship to pursue a career in engineering, and Catherine Thriveni will join two Park alumni (Alyssa D’Addezio ’14, Ismail Kassim ’14) at East Carolina University’s school of medicine as a Brody Scholar.
Soon, the university will quite literally feel the power of these Park Scholars. As a legacy to NC State, the class fundraised $48,000 to install a solar sculpture outside of the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus. Each year, the Curve will mitigate greenhouse gases the equivalent of planting 34 trees. A visual symbol of the university’s sustainability initiatives, the legacy is also representative of this class’s commitment to serving their campus and world.
We look forward to seeing all of the innovative, altruistic, and exciting things the Park Scholarships Class of 2015 will do in the years to come. As they cross the stage at NC State and look forward to new opportunities and experiences, we hope Roy Park’s words will lead them: “Consider the breadth of an opportunity, and do your best.”
Story by Mary Charles Hale ‘13