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‘I feel honored to give back to Elon’

Alumna Priscilla Awkard ’95 deepens her philanthropic commitment to Elon by making a generous estate gift to support scholarships and athletics, helping to secure Elon's future.

Priscilla Awkard ’95 of Raleigh, N.C., recently placed Elon in her estate plan with a generous gift that will provide valuable resources to the university in the future. She made Elon the beneficiary of a portion of her IRA and an insurance policy offered through her employer, Coastal Federal Credit Union in Raleigh.

Priscilla Awkard ’95

“I feel honored to give back to Elon,” said Awkard, who serves as the credit union’s manager of community engagement. “Elon has given me the education to be successful in my job, and I feel an obligation to give back to the place that helped develop me into the leader I am today.”

Awkard’s gift will support the Phoenix volleyball program and the Black Alumni Scholarship—two priorities that are near and dear to her heart. Awkard was a standout on Elon’s volleyball team and is a member of the university’s Sports Hall of Fame. She continues to play competitive volleyball in local leagues in the Raleigh area, as well as with the Carolina Regional Volleyball Association.

Awkard received a volleyball scholarship to attend Elon, which inspired her to launch the Black Alumni Scholarship along with other alumni in 2007.

“I went to school with students who were wondering whether they were going to be able to afford to come back to Elon,” Awkard said. “I never had to make that decision because of the scholarships that were available to me. That’s why scholarships are so important, because they can make the difference between whether someone stays at Elon or not.”

Awkard has been an active leader and volunteer at Elon, including serving as a member of the Black Alumni Network. She was honored with the Eugene Perry ’69 Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011. She has also been a loyal donor to her alma mater, contributing each year to the volleyball program and the Black Alumni Scholarship among other priorities. She also serves on the Phoenix Club Advisory Board.

She decided to deepen her philanthropic commitment to Elon by making a planned gift, which allows her to make her largest gift to the university without parting with any assets now. Awkard made her decision while updating her estate plans following the death of her mother last year.

“It was a good opportunity for me to re-evaluate everything, and I started to think about what my legacy was going to be,” she said. “I thought, ‘What a perfect opportunity to add Elon to my estate.’ My contribution is going to be the way I can make the biggest impact at Elon and the easiest way to do that is to make a planned gift. My family is taken care of and I don’t have any children, so for me a planned gift was the ideal thing to do.”

Awkard is now a member of Order of the Oak, Elon’s planned giving legacy society. She encourages all alumni to consider placing Elon in their estate plans to help secure the university's future.

“I’ve seen other donors who are older make planned gifts and have an impact, and I thought I can make a difference, too,” Awkard said. “I encourage alumni to think about leaving something behind that will continue to live on for generations to come. The one thing I can think of that does that is a planned gift. Long after I’m gone, that money will still be used to progress another student through their life.”

Awkard noted there’s one more benefit to giving back to Elon—it makes her feel good.

“Elon has grown into a national university, and I’m proud every day to say that I attended Elon and am still a part of Elon.”

Jaleh Hagigh,
1/27/2017 8:35 AM