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A New Endowment Reflects Business Alumna’s Passion for the Humanities

Business alumna Ella M. Price is a real estate investor passionate about history and the humanities. Those passions and a desire to pay it forward inspired the 1999 graduate to establish a new endowment to benefit students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Price views the college as a natural fit for the Schiebelhut-Preissing High-Impact Award Endowment. For her, the endowment is a way to honor her father and aunt, who shared their love of history with her as a young girl growing up in Ulm, Germany. The endowment, named for them, also is a testament to her appreciation for the humanities, her German ancestry and her family’s tradition of working in real estate.

“Now, both of their names will live on,” she said. “It was their idea for me to enter the real estate profession after graduating from NC State.

“With their guidance, I amassed a real estate portfolio,” added Price, who owns and manages rental properties nationwide. “That gave me the opportunity to donate to the college. Without them, I wouldn’t be at this point.”

Ella Price
Ella Price

In coming to America for college, Price fulfilled what she described as her “big dream.” She said she attended NC State with the twin objectives of developing her mind and pursuing a practical career.

Price graduated from the Poole College of Management with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Yet her heart has always been linked to the humanities.

“All the arts flow into history,” she said. “You cannot connect the dots going forward; you can only connect them going back; then you’ll see how the arts have been pushing us toward the future.”

Attending NC State, Price said she benefited from several small scholarships. Still, financing her education remained a struggle, compelling her to work full-time between two jobs.

Time and money constraints also prevented Price from taking advantage of transformative experiences like studying abroad. But she sees college as a place of possibility, where doors of opportunity open.

“I lived my big dream and appreciated the little (financial) help I got here and there along the way,” said Price. The endowment is her way to help ease the financial burden for students to participate in high-impact experiences, which connect them to hands-on learning outside the classroom that align with their goals.  

You never know what brilliant minds are out there somewhere and can’t reach their full potential because they lack the funds.

To that end, the endowment will provide high-impact experience awards to students in the college. Along with study abroad, other such experiences include participation in undergraduate research and internships.

Preference will go to students who are seeking a degree in history and/or have demonstrated interest in German history, the German language, or who are interested in studying abroad in Germany.

Of her NC State experience, Price mused: “Maybe if it was easy, if I didn’t have the stress and struggle of juggling school and work, the thought of donating and paying it forward so someone else could have it better would not have occurred.

“You never know what brilliant minds are out there somewhere and can’t reach their full potential because they lack the funds,” she said.

The college is immensely grateful to Price for establishing the endowment and giving back to the next generation of bright minds and responsible citizens.

So, what would Price’s major be if she attended college today? After a short pause, she quietly and expectedly responded — history.