In 1998, when the scholarship program was formally established, communication with the Class of 1968 was slow and donations minimal. We were all 48 years old at the time, with children to put through college, and other priorities. As word spread and enthusiasm grew, so did our endowment balance and the amount of scholarship dollars that we were allowed to spend per the rules of the Winston-Salem Foundation. Some significant events along the way influenced the balance of the fund which has, in turn, affected the amount of scholarship given:
- 2003 – A silent auction, chaired by Karen Hancock Blackwelder, held at our 35th reunion, allowed us to increase the scholarship amount.
- 2007/2008 – We held our “40 in 40” campaign, chaired by Dave Fuller, and raised $68,000, well in excess of our $40,000 goal for our 40th reunion.
- 2010 – Scholarship Co-Chairs sent a personal e-mail to every reachable member of the class requesting a donation.
- 2013 – Funds were raised at our 45th reunion, followed by a “DVD Testimonial and Remembrance of 1968” mailed to all reachable classmates.
- 2014 – 2019 – Our first Fundraising Committee, co-chaired the first year by Sami Ousley Bills and Merlyn Weygandt Bost, set a goal of raising $100,000 before our 50th reunion in 2018. John Weiler took over as Chair in 2015.
- 2015 – The Committee raised donations and pledges of $44,500 toward the $100,000 goal in March of 2015.
- 2018 – The Fundraising Committee raised an amazing $373,912 over three years bringing the endowment total to $654,100 enabling a $25,000 scholarship over four years.
- 2021 – Through the generous giving of our donors and well managed investments by the Winston-Salem Foundation, our endowment has grown to over $775,000.00.