Former Student Body President Establishes Scholarship for Student Leaders
Throughout his service with NC State Student Government, including a tenure as student body president, Andy Walsh ’13 helped bring about many exciting and important changes to campus. Now, he wants to ensure that other students in leadership positions have even more opportunities to “Think and Do” than he did.
That’s why Walsh recently pledged $10,000 to the Division of Academic and Student Affairs to establish the Robert A. Walsh Student Leadership Fund. The new scholarship will be awarded annually to NC State undergraduates who hold leadership positions in registered student organizations.
“Universities are here to serve students and teach them to be better and more productive members of society, and to do that is to give them the opportunity to lead,” Walsh said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted to give this gift – it rewards the students who want to make their voices heard and go for it.”
Walsh earned a B.A. in political science from NC State, and later received a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He is currently an attorney for 225-lawyer business law firm Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, LLP in Charlotte, N.C. As a public finance attorney, much of his work entails bond counseling for municipalities and local governments. He has also worked on financing deals with several public institutions in North Carolina, including NC State’s recent Wellness and Recreation Center renovation.
Walsh made his first gift to NC State when he was a student himself. As student body president, Walsh led the fundraising effort for Coaches’ Corner: the statues between Reynolds Coliseum and Talley Student Union honoring NC State’s celebrated basketball history. The project is one of his proudest legacies at NC State because of the ways it helped strengthen the NC State brand and boosted institutional pride.
“As a native of the Triangle area, I knew that if you were to ask somebody ‘What do you think about NC State?’ you would get a variety of answers,” Walsh said. “But if you asked somebody what they thought about Jim Valvano, Kay Yow, Norm Sloan or Everett Case, you would get very passionate answers, and that is something I really wanted to honor. I think that when you go to that side of campus now with Talley Student Union, Reynolds Coliseum and the new Wellness and Recreation Center, it’s just amazing how much of that institutional pride you can feel there in the heart of student life.”
During his four years in NC State’s Student Government, which included service as Traditions Committee chair, Walsh also introduced and revitalized many campus traditions. He helped with the creation of the Traditions Keeper memento program through The Brick publication as well as signature events like the Wolfstock Concert Series and Packapalooza, the bookend to Wolfpack Welcome Week. He also helped reintroduce NC State’s live, Tamaskan dog mascot, Tuffy, in his first year as a student senator. With the recent passing of Tuffy II, Walsh was reminded just how much his work was appreciated.
“In the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten to see how much people love that mascot,” he said. “When we brought the idea to the administration, I think there was some hesitancy about if it would be a hit, and I think what we’ve seen the last two weeks is what I thought would happen all along, which is it would be something that was really near and dear to a lot of State fans.”
Another of Walsh’s proudest accomplishments at NC State was his work in establishing the Respect the Pack tradition during Wolfpack Welcome Week. The event started as a special dialogue about diversity after a series of racially charged events on campus, and has grown into a yearly tradition.
“It really helps start the year on the right foot and let people know we take diversity seriously at NC State,” Walsh said. “We have trainings at my law firm about racial equity, and I think it has become more and more important in the workplace and in the world today. I hope this tradition continues to grow in the years to come.”
In addition to his service in Student Government at NC State, Walsh was a member of the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program and played on the club ice hockey team, playing as the starting goalie for the 2010-2011 Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League championship team. He graduated Summa cum laude and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
Walsh hopes that his unique new gift will help student leaders involved in clubs across campus to be able to achieve their goals and establish their own legacies at NC State, without being burdened by personal financial concerns. He also hopes that it encourages other young alumni to give to the university and to the programs that helped them grow and become who they are today.
“I’m really hopeful that in a few years we’re going to hear about additional scholarships going to students to relieve financial burdens,” he said. “We need to show [current students] that we value their impact on campus and that we value the leadership skills that they’re developing, so much so that we want to reward them for their contributions.”
If you are interested in supporting NC State students through the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, please contact DASA Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was originally published in DASA.