WPU announces the Redmond – Harris Internship Support Fund

May 5, 2022

The Redmond – Harris Internship Support Fund is part of the “22 Courageous Gifts in 2022” giving campaign – a campus-wide fundraising initiative at William Peace University (WPU). Donors like Billie Redmond and Kemp Harris support this initiative by making a courageous commitment that provides 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.

Billie Redmond knows the value of an internship. 

The Eden, North Carolina native founded TradeMark Properties, the largest woman-owned boutique commercial estate company in the Triangle. And she has experienced the value of incredible interns at her company. 

She has seen her interns learn about different work styles, career paths, and more — all while bringing new insights to TradeMark. To her, internships are a necessity.

Because of her confidence in internships, Redmond, Chair of the WPU Board of Trustees, wanted to grow internship opportunities at the University. At WPU, 100 percent of students graduate with internship experience.

WPU is excited to announce the courageous establishment of the Redmond – Harris Internship Support Fund, thanks to the generosity of Redmond and her husband, Kemp Harris. 

The fund will provide support for students who are completing unpaid internships while enrolled at WPU. Redmond and Harris are passionate about enabling students to gain real-world, immersive experiences. 

“Internships, the ultimate immersive learning experience, play a key role in the curriculum at WPU. Internships provide students the opportunity to build skills, apply what they’ve learned in their classes, test out a career, and gain real-world work experience that can help them land a great job in the future,” said Kasha Klinegores, Director of Academic and Career Advising. “The Redmond-Harris Internship Support Fund will be instrumental in providing financial assistance to students in unpaid internships, giving them the assistance they need to continue the important work they are doing for academic credit. We are so grateful to the Redmond-Harris family for their support and meaningful impact on our students.”

The fund will partner with workplaces to ensure students are paid and valued for their time and work. Currently, around a third of WPU student internships are unpaid, and most are with non-profits where students can gain some of the most hands-on experiences.

“We want this fund to help ensure that every student has one or more opportunities that better equip them for the next choice in their life, for the next opportunity,” Redmond said. “The confidence that you get from being in a working environment where you stand on your own, it just builds a character of courageous confidence.”

Redmond explained that not every company has a budget to pay interns. The fund allows students to take the internships they want, regardless of if the company can provide payment or not.  And in the Triangle, internships are competitive. Some companies commit to their paid internships and would invite more interns into their workplace but cannot commit more funds.  We don’t want the students to miss out on the experience.  

When students have internships, they have experiences that can help them develop their calling and can potentially lead to employment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, hiring managers reported that one of the most influential factors in hiring one candidate over another was internship experience.

“Even if an internship doesn’t lead to a career next step, it is just as important to know what you don’t what to do as to know what you do want to do,” said Redmond, who was named as one of the Top 20 CEO’s in the Triangle in 2016 by Triangle Business Journal. “The more experiences you have, the better you can navigate your career.”

Learn more about WPU’s internships. If you are interested in joining Billie Redmond and Kemp Harris in courageously supporting students, please visit the WPU giving page.