Opening Doors: Major gift from donors to endow scholarship in the Odyssey Program
The Sam and Vicky Hunt Scholarship will assist two students each year in the Odyssey Program, a highly selective program for students with exceptional ability and promise and significant financial need.
Elon Trustee Vicky Hunt and her husband, Sam Hunt, of Burlington, North Carolina, have made a generous gift to endow a scholarship in the university’s Odyssey Program, helping to make an Elon education possible for outstanding students with significant financial need.
The Sam and Vicky Hunt Scholarship will assist two students each year in the Odyssey Program, a highly selective program for students with exceptional ability and promise and significant financial need. Many of the scholarship recipients in the Odyssey Program are the first in their families to attend college.
“We are grateful to Sam and Vicky Hunt for once again stepping forward to support a top institutional priority,” President Leo M. Lambert said. “Sam and Vicky deeply understand the power of scholarships and quality education to change the trajectory of a student’s life and to lift up communities. The future of Elon students is bright because of generous friends like Sam and Vicky Hunt.”
“Sam and I love Elon, and we enjoy being able to support the university,” Vicky Hunt said. “To us, scholarships are the gifts that keep on giving. All scholarships are impactful, but the Odyssey Program is a transformational scholarship because it gives the recipients the chance to have an amazing Elon experience.”
The Sam and Vicky Hunt Scholarship is the latest in a series of new endowed scholarships established by donors for students in the Odyssey Program. In October, Elon announced that seven generous families had endowed 30 new scholarships for the Odyssey Program. The Hunts’ gift, together with commitments made earlier this year, brings to 43 the total number of Odyssey endowments created during the past year.
“We believe in building the endowment at Elon, and we like that this gift will go on in perpetuity, helping students long after we are gone,” Hunt said.
Sam and Vicky Hunt have been loyal supporters of need- and talent-based scholarships at Elon, as well as Phoenix athletics and the Elon Academy, the university’s successful college access program. They have also helped to build Elon’s campus, making lead gifts to Hunt Softball Park and to support construction of the Schar Center, the university’s convocation center, which is scheduled to open in 2018.
Sam Hunt has had a long career building two companies: Hunt Electric Supply with his father and now his son, Sam, and Atlas Lighting, which he sold earlier this year. Sam Hunt served four terms as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives and was the N.C. Transportation Secretary. Vicky Hunt has served as an Elon trustee since 1997 and is also active in Hunt Electric Supply. The couple is active with charitable work, especially with the Pet Adoption and Welfare Society (PAWS), working to address the pet overpopulation problem in Alamance County.
About the Odyssey Program
The Odyssey Program is part of Elon's Center for Access and Success. In addition to annual tuition assistance, each of the scholarships in this program includes a stipend for books and supplies, and a one-time, global study grant to be used for an approved study abroad or Study USA program.
Throughout the four-year program, students take advantage of intellectually demanding courses while furthering their personal and professional development. The students participate in a first-year summer orientation, attend annual retreats and monthly meetings with their peers, are involved in one-on-one academic and career planning meetings, and maintain an academic and leadership portfolio. Students in the Odyssey Program are consistently among Elon’s top-performing students.
The "Opening Doors" story series celebrates the power of scholarships to change the lives of Elon students and the generosity of donors who make this transformation possible.