The Batchelder Family Honors Carolina Scholarship was one of 692 named scholarship funds that were used in awarding scholarships at UNC in 2020-21, but what sets it apart from the rest is its "family" aspect.
Richard Batchelder, a UNC alumnus and advisory board member of Honors Carolina, helped to create the scholarship, which provides student aid to two honors students at UNC who have an interest in business, history or drama.
Batchelder said that when the scholarship started, his eldest son Teddy was at UNC and his younger son Will had just decided to attend the University. He said his wife Peggy and both sons were supportive of the idea.
"That's why we named it the Batchelder family scholarship, because it's really the family that is behind it, as opposed to just me and my wife, or just me," Batchelder said.
Batchelder said that during his time serving on the student recruitment committee on the board of visitors, he saw firsthand how competitive it is to attract students to attend UNC. He thought focusing the scholarship on Honors Carolina students would be most impactful.
"This scholarship would hopefully be a thumb on the scale when they were deciding where to go, and it turned out that that was the case, not only for our scholarship students, but for others that have provided similar scholarships," Batchelder said. "It's quite clear that making Carolina not only affordable, but essentially free for students, is a real enticement."
He said he thought scholarships like this one allows a donor to have a real impact on the lives of students.
"We saw an opportunity to provide two students with access to Carolina by making sure that when they were making their decision about where they wanted to go, that the financial side would not be at all a concern," Batchelder said.
Jim Leloudis, the associate dean of Honors Carolina, said that according to the Fall 2020 Census Enrollment, 61 percent of current UNC undergraduate students receive some type of student aid.
“Honors Carolina Scholarships help us recruit outstanding students who contribute to the intellectual vitality and diversity of our campus community" Leloudis and Peter T. Grauer, associate dean of Honors Carolina, said in an email. "These awards also build meaningful relationships between past and future generations of Tar Heels.”
Sam Hackett, who graduated from UNC in the spring as a business major and history minor, received the Batchelder family scholarship in 2018.
Hackett said his main focus coming out of high school was getting into UNC, but not necessarily what programs he would be interested at the school.
"So, when I'd been notified that I was accepted, I was blown away," Hackett said.
He said the scholarship meant that finances didn't have to play a significant role in the way he was thinking about college.
"I know so many people, they work another job or two on the side on top of taking classes just to make ends meet," Hackett said. "And I think having the scholarship really just took a big weight off my shoulders and a lot of stress that I may have had otherwise."
Hackett said he was able to meet Richard Batchelder and that putting a face to the name meant a lot to him.
"They were incredibly kind people, and it shows with their willingness to give back to the school," Hackett said.
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