Alumna establishes Lawrence Scholarship Fund at WPU

Jan 31, 2023

The Lawrence Scholarship Fund is part of the “22 Courageous Gifts in 2022” giving campaign – a campus-wide fundraising initiative at William Peace University (WPU). Donors, like Mary Elizabeth (“Beth”) Lawrence ’69, have chosen to support this initiative by making a courageous commitment that will provide our students with the resources they need to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn their passion into purpose. These gifts will shape both the future of our university and our students. To learn more or to donate visit 22 in 2022.

WPU is excited to announce the Lawrence Scholarship Fund, thanks to the generosity of Alumna Mary Elizabeth (“Beth”) Lawrence ’69. 

Lawrence hopes the scholarship will make a difference for students with financial need to obtain an education that leads to a meaningful profession that enables them to be economically independent. Impressed by WPU’s quality immersive education, she wanted to create a scholarship to support students at her alma mater. 

“We are grateful for Beth’s courageous commitment to WPU and its students,” said Paul Scherschel, Interim Vice President of University Advancement. “Her experience at WPU inspired a scholarship that will help enable our students to transform their passion into purpose and find their dream careers.”

Lawrence’s time at what was then known as Peace College placed her on track for a profession that kept her growing and curious and financially supported her.

Education is critical to a career. It provides so much exposure to different areas and cultures that your whole life view can change,” Lawrence said. “Peace offers such a great education for students — so many major opportunities and course options. For a small school, it’s really impressive what it offers.”

Lawrence was first drawn to WPU through her mother and aunt, who both attended Peace College. 

While at Peace, Lawrence loved living on the 4th floor in Main Building. She has countless fond memories of group study halls and the practical jokes done by the girls in her hall. 

She also remembers how incredible her teachers were. Her biology teacher taught the subject so passionately that she nearly changed her major from History to Biology. However, when she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after Peace, she was not nearly as drawn to Biology. So, she decided to continue pursuing a history degree. 

After graduating from Peace, Lawrence wanted to give back. Through the decades, she has gradually grown her financial support of her alma mater, and now she hopes to make an impact through her scholarship.

I’d like to think my gift would encourage more alumni to do something like this,” she said. “I want my gift to courageously inspire others to donate, especially those in my class.”

If you are interested in joining Lawrence in courageously supporting students, please visit