Long-Time Employees Make $35,000 Donation to FSU
Fayetteville State University (FSU) has many dedicated and loyal employees who give of their time, talent, and resources for the betterment of the institution. The husband and wife team of Drs. LaDelle Olion and Marion Gillis-Olion are certainly among them. Both have held a variety of teaching and administrative duties during their 30-plus years at FSU and are among the institutions most well-known. Olion currently serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Gillis-Olion is Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Liaison.
They now take on the role of university donors. Thanks to their $35,000 donation, the Olion Endowment Fund for Teachers has been established at FSU. The endowment will support deserving undergraduate or graduate students, with financial need, enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs leading to licensure in elementary education, early childhood education (teaching), special education, reading education, or middle grades education with specialization in language arts.
“Scholarships are one way of validating academic achievement. A scholarship award means that others recognize your accomplishments and value your chosen work,” Dr. Olion said. “We wanted to be a part of the system that says people notice when students do the right things.”
The Olions said they hope other faculty and staff will recognize the academic achievements of FSU students by making an investment such as theirs. The university will benefit in the long run, they said.
“This institution and the students it serves have made it possible for us to lead a lifestyle of our choosing and provide for our family,” Olion said. “Although we feel we have worked hard for our salaries over the years, we know that the various administrations have done their share to ensure that FSU was always able to meet its payroll and supply comfortable working conditions. These scholarships that we and others provide will help to ensure that the institution can attract students with academic potential and thereby sustain itself as a viable community partner able to support families such as ours in the future.”
FSU Chancellor James Anderson said the Olions are two of the university’s hardest workers and most staunch supporters. He said he can always count on them to be involved in whatever it takes to put the university at the forefront.
“This generous donation by LaDelle and Marion is just one of many ways that they have demonstrated their support of Fayetteville State University and our mission to produce 21st Century Global Scholars,” Anderson said. “They are true examples of the institution’s motto, ‘Deeds Not Words” by imparting their knowledge, wisdom, and now financial resources on FSU and its most valuable resource, its students. I am grateful to them for all that they have done and will continue to do for this university.”
FSU is the second-oldest public institution in North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina System, FSU has nearly 6,000 students and offers degrees in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
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