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New Scholarship Endowment Honors Memory of Political Science Alumnus

Lope Max Diaz II @ Reynolds

No one was surprised that Lope “Max” Diaz II chose to attend NC State. For the political science alumnus, it was a natural choice.

It was also a natural choice for Max’s parents — Lope and Aixa — to establish a new scholarship endowment in his memory to benefit students from his alma mater. Max died in 2017 from an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 40 years old, a husband, father and devoted NC State alum.

“We established the Lope Max Diaz II Memorial Scholarship Endowment to honor our son’s memory and leave a legacy at CHASS,” says Aixa Morales-Diaz, Max’s mother and a staff member at NC State. “We also want to give students interested in the legal and political fields, and aspire to follow in Max’s footsteps, the opportunity to attend NC State.”

The endowment will be used to provide merit- and need-based scholarships for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science. Preference will go to students who are rising juniors or seniors, demonstrate an interest in the legal system, and have a concentration in law and justice.

Max’s ties to NC State run deep. His family moved to Raleigh from Puerto Rico in 1988 when his father, now retired, joined the faculty of the College of Design (then the School of Design) as a professor of art and design. His mom is the executive assistant to the dean of NC State’s Graduate School, and his sister, also named Aixa, graduated from CHASS with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in French.

Growing up, Max and his family regularly attended NC State football and basketball games. CarterFinley Stadium and Reynolds Coliseum were like their second home.

Before long, Max became an avid Wolfpack fan. As an active NC State student, he served as president of the political science club and also served in student government. He graduated with honors in 1998.

Lope MaxDiaz II

Max went on to earn his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Later, he became the assistant district attorney in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked for 12 years.

During that time, he went from prosecuting misdemeanor crimes to handling homicides and later rose to supervisor of the domestic violence team. In turn, he earned a reputation as a passionate prosecutor and legal advocate who sought justice for those he represented.

Outside the courtroom, Max lived his life joyfully. He was also passionate about his family, his faith, live music, playing guitar and his alma mater.

The college extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Diaz family for establishing the endowment and giving back to support our students and the responsible citizens of tomorrow.

For the Diaz family, the hope is that the scholarship endowment ensures Max’s legacy will continue.

Join the Diaz family in honoring Max’s memory and supporting our students by donating to the Lope Max Diaz II Memorial Scholarship Endowment.