The generous commitment from Robert and Kim Graybill P’21, of Sparks, Maryland, will broaden access to Elon and create an enduring tribute to service in law enforcement and the military.
An endowment gift from Robert and Kim Graybill P’21 will create The Graybill Family Elon Engagement Scholarship. The couple have also made a valuable four-year annual commitment to assist students in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.
Robert Graybill is the owner, president and CEO of FMS Solutions Holdings LLC, a provider of accounting and consulting services to independent retail grocers in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and northern South America. The Graybills are members of Parents Council and their son, Dylan, is an Elon sophomore.
Graybill Family Elon Engagement Scholarships will be awarded annually to two incoming Elon students who embody the spirit and values of the university, including embracing Elon’s nationally recognized engaged learning programs called the Elon Experiences. Engagement Scholarships include a one-time grant earmarked for a student to participate in one of the Elon Experiences, including study abroad, Study USA, undergraduate research, internships or service learning. This aspect of the program appealed to the Graybill family.
“The Elon Experiences were very much what attracted us to the Engagement Scholarship. It’s a whole school experience that some students don’t have access to because of money, unfortunately,” Robert Graybill says. “I worked through college and there was no dorm time, study abroad or things that other students did. Those experiences are not just about learning but also about growing up.”
Jim Piatt, vice president for university advancement, says creating more scholarships is the highest institutional priority at Elon.
“Nothing is more important than opening a door for a dedicated and deserving student who might not be financially able to attend Elon and to become part of our campus and take advantage of Elon’s dynamic experiences,” Piatt says. “Engagement Scholarships make a profound difference, and we thank Robert and Kim Graybill for their generous gift.”
Engagement scholarships are among the top priorities of the upcoming Elon LEADS Campaign, the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history, which the university will launch on Friday, April 5. The campaign seeks significant new investments to support four key university priorities: scholarships for graduates the world needs, access to engaged learning, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and Elon’s iconic campus.
First preference for Graybill Family Elon Engagement Scholarships will be given to students with a family history of service in the military or law enforcement. This was a key factor for the Graybills who wanted to create a lasting tribute.
Robert Graybill’s father, John Graybill, was a Baltimore City police detective before retiring as a sergeant from the force and working with the Maryland State Attorney. Kim Graybill’s father, Francis Raley, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. After leaving military service, he became a Baltimore City firefighter and worked his way to captain.
The critical service to the nation provided by police and the military is important to recognize and to honor, Graybill said.
“It is something that is easy to forget as we live our lives with few worries about our own security because someone else is worrying about it for us,” he says. “I think the main underlying piece for law enforcement and the military is that hopefully this scholarship will be there to help their children, especially in today’s world where we can sometimes forget about the constant things they’re doing to keep us safe. This is our thank you back.”
Establishing an endowed scholarship was also important to the Graybills because it represents a lasting legacy that will help students for generations to come. “It also appeals to me that the scholarship is ongoing,” Graybill says. “It’s a not just one time or just one student who will be helped.”
Raghu Tadepalli, dean of the Love School of Business, says the four-year annual gift will make off-campus professional experiences available to business students at Elon.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Graybill family, we will be able to send more students to participate in various strategic, ethics and sales competitions across the country,” Tadepalli says. “It will also help enhance the mentorship of students by our faculty and develop leadership qualities among the students. We’re very grateful to the Graybill family for their generosity.”