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January 12, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gift from Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Foundation Endows Need-based Scholarships on 16 UNC Campuses
CHAPEL HILL – The Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Foundation has made a gift of $365,000 to establish a Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund on each of the 16 University of North Carolina campuses. The funds will endow one or more need-based Cato Scholarships on each campus. Recipients will be financially challenged undergraduates who have demonstrated the experience of working both for pay and as a volunteer. UNC President Erskine Bowles announced the gift today during the UNC Board of Governors’ January meeting.
Established in 1997 by retired Charlotte businessman Wayland Cato, Jr., the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. Foundation is devoted to endowing scholarships at institutions of higher learning in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming. A native of Ridge Spring, S.C., and 1944 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cato co-founded with his father in 1946 The Cato Corporation—a women’s apparel retailer with more than 1,200 stores in 31 states. During his 33-year tenure as chairman of its board, Cato was responsible for the company’s charitable contributions endowing numerous scholarships. As a result of his personal and corporate philanthropy, there are now more than 65 Cato Endowed Scholarship Funds at 23 colleges and universities. Cato Scholarships are awarded to more than 100 students annually.
“In my opinion, the best thing a person can do for himself is to get a good education,” said Cato. “These endowed scholarships are intended to help students who practice both the work ethic and giving back to their communities. It gives me great pleasure to know that these endowments will continue to aid people who want to help themselves for a very long time to come.”
In accepting the gift, Bowles said, “Wayland Cato, Jr., achieved great success as a businessman and has generously shared the fruits of that success to help deserving students pursue the higher education they will need to compete in today’s global economy. We deeply appreciate this vote of confidence both in North Carolina’s young people and in the University.”