#OurRaleigh | WPU Students Awarded Scholarships From The Dereck Whittenburg Foundation

December 20, 2018

William Peace University is proud to announce two of its students have been awarded scholarships from the Dereck Whittenburg Foundation (DW Foundation), a local nonprofit that aims to provide financial support to Raleigh college students.

WPU students Christian Branch ’19 and Elizabeth Manla ’19, along with dozens of their peers from neighboring Raleigh institutions, attended the DW Foundation Scholarship Awards Dinner earlier this month where they were recognized personally by Dereck Whittenburg, the former NC State basketball star that helped lead the Wolfpack to the 1983 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship.

“It’s wonderful that we can help these students finish and help them in their journey, mentor them and hopefully they in turn will help other students in the future.”

Dereck Whittenburg, The DW Foundation Founder

Whittenburg started the Foundation, along with his wife Jacqueline, four years ago and has awarded more than 70 scholarships to university juniors and seniors in the Raleigh area.

WPU students with University President, Dr. Brian C. Ralph
WPU Students Elizabeth Manla (left), Christian Branch (center) and WPU President, Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. (right)

“It’s wonderful that we can help these students finish and help them in their journey, mentor them and hopefully they in turn will help other students in the future,” Whittenburg said. “It’s about helping others and empowering people, that’s what’s fun about the journey and I’m enjoying every minute of it today.”

The DW Foundation is one of the many ways that Whittenburg  has contributed to the Raleigh community over the years. He has long been an important figure, dating back to playing days, which included the improbable run to a national title under the late Jim Valvano. With his playing days now behind him, Whittenburg says the DW Foundation has afforded him another calling in life – helping students achieve their academic goals by finishing strong and graduating.

“It’s really a terrific opportunity to celebrate achievement and also the generosity of the Foundation.”

Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D., WPU President

“One of the great things about the Dereck Whittenburg Foundation is that they’re targeting the institutions in the Raleigh area, so we’re here with our colleagues from Meredith, Wake Tech, Shaw, Saint Augustine’s, and NC State,” said WPU President, Brian C. Ralph, Ph.D. “It’s a super chance for students from across the region to benefit from the generosity of the Derek Whittenburg Foundation.”

“Thank you for investing in students, investing in academics,” said Branch, who studies Communication. “Just overall helping us succeed as a student, as an individual, as a person, and just a financial blessing-thank you.”

“I cried a little when I got that [DW Foundation] email,” said Manla, a Musical Theatre major. “It was going to be really hard to pay for my last semester out-of-pocket. So far, I don’t have any debt, so it was really cool to get this because now I’m going to graduate with no debt.”

For more news and feature stories, visit www.peace.edu/news.

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