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McMichael Foundation gift to fund Elon Law scholarships

A $2 million gift commitment from the Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Foundation will provide the largest scholarship endowment at the Elon University School of Law. The endowment will fund three full-tuition scholarships annually, with the first to be awarded to a member of the 2009 entering class who is chosen as a McMichael Law and Leadership Fellow.

The Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Foundation is named for a Madison, N.C., textile executive who was one of Elon’s largest benefactors. Three of McMichael’s grandsons attended Elon and his daughter, Gail M. Drew of Durham, N.C., is an Elon trustee. Elon’s Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Science Center, which opened in 1999, is named in his honor.

The foundation board includes Drew and her siblings, Dalton (Mac) McMichael Jr., Stoneville, N.C., and Flavel Godfrey, Jacksonville, Fla. It also includes three grandchildren of Dalton McMichael Sr., Whitney Heard, High Point, N.C., Anna Kirk, Wake Forest, N.C., and Andrew Miracle, Chapel Hill, N.C.

“This generous gift is a major step forward for the Elon University School of Law as we expand scholarship opportunities to attract and assist top students,” said Leo M. Lambert, Elon University president. “The McMichael Law and Leadership Fellows will exemplify the values of the law school and will further our mission of developing lawyers who are committed to their profession and their communities.”

The McMichael Law and Leadership Fellows will be talented students who have high academic abilities along with significant life or educational leadership experiences. Those chosen for the honor will also show great potential for future leadership. Their scholarship awards will be eligible for annual renewal, based on their academic performance and their participation in the Law and Leadership Fellows Program.

The law school’s Law and Leadership Fellows Program, currently in development, will be a three-year program involving students in special courses, activities and projects that will prepare them to embrace their roles as society’s problem-solvers and leaders. A select group of Law and Leadership Fellows, including one McMichael Law and Leadership Fellow, will be chosen from each law school class.

The McMichael Foundation gift is part of the $100 million Ever Elon Campaign, which entered its public phase at the Elon board of trustees fall meeting, held Oct. 10-11.

Dalton L. McMichael Sr.

About Dalton L. McMichael Sr.

In 1946, Bill Armfield and Dalton L. McMichael Sr. began Madison Throwing Co., which eventually was sold to Burlington Industries. In 1970, he and Billy Armfield co-founded Macfield Texturing, which merged with Unifi in 1991. In 1982, he was one of the co-founders of Vintage Yarns, which also was bought by Unifi in 1993.

McMichael served as chairman of the board of Mayo Yarns Inc., which was formed by the 1993 merger of two companies, which he co-founded – Mayo Yarns Inc. and Dan Valley Yarns Inc. He also served as chairman of the Madison and Madison-Mayodan school boards for more than 15 years, and the Dalton L. McMichael High School was named in his honor. Dalton L. McMichael Sr. died in 2001.

Dan Anderson,
11/26/2008 2:39 PM