Academics

Supporting STEM scholars at Carolina

The Sherman Fairchild Foundation recently donated $10 million to the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust pledged a $5 million grant, provided the University raises an additional $10 million in matching gifts by the end of 2023.

Members of the Chancellor Science Scholars talk with Will McClean.
Carolina alumnus Will McClean visits with Chancellor's Science Scholars at Kenan Labs on February 5, 2019, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. McLean was visiting on behalf of the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Keshav Patel is finishing an honors thesis in mathematics. Lauren Gullet spends many afternoons collecting and analyzing data in Carolina’s Institute of Trauma Recovery. Daniela Alfaro plans to learn more about the factors, both biological and social, that caused her mother’s diabetes.

Two generous contributions to the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will enable more students like these to pursue degrees in STEM.

The Sherman Fairchild Foundation recently gave $10 million to the program, which is a part of the College of Arts & Sciences. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust pledged a $5 million grant, provided the University raises an additional $10 million in matching gifts by the end of 2023.

“These gifts greatly enhance our competitiveness to recruit some of the best STEM scholars in the nation to Carolina,” said Thomas Freeman, Chancellor’s Science Scholars’ executive director. “We will be able to provide robust and dynamic programming to nurture their scholarly and entrepreneurial pursuits, toward our ultimate goal of shaping the next generation of leaders in science and technology.”

Designed to prepare students to pursue graduate degrees in STEM disciplines, the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program offers merit-based scholarships, opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, professional development, leadership training, mentorship and other programming. Students become members of a community of scholars committed not only to individual excellence, but to challenging preconceptions of the scientist archetype and creating a more inclusive culture within the STEM academy.

Forty-five scholars have graduated from the program, Freeman said. More than half of that group has gone on to pursue an advanced degree in a STEM program.

“And thanks to the contributions from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Kenan Charitable Trust, we welcomed a cohort of 40 scholars in 2018,” he added. “We are very grateful to be able to attract top students to Carolina to become Chancellor’s Science Scholars.”

All contributions to the Chancellor’s Science Scholars support the Carolina Edge, a Signature Initiative in For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history.