The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education poses for a picture with the members of the Unity Alumni Association following the announcement of a partnership to disseminate Unity Legacy Fund scholarships. Pictured (front row, from left) are Superintendent Jeff James, Lizzie Barber, Dorothy Woodard, George Stevenson, and Leon Ijames; (back row) Bill Howell, Charles Kelly, Doug Knight, Audrey Stewart, Todd Carver, Martin Page, Sam Kennington and Bryan Shoemaker.


The Unity High School Alumni Association is partnering with the Iredell-Statesville Schools Foundation for Excellence in Education to provide college scholarships to local students in perpetuity.

The Unity alumni group recently contributed $25,000 to the foundation to establish the endowed scholarship program.

“We’re so very excited about this opportunity to partner with the Foundation for Excellence,” Dorothy Woodard, who serves as treasurer of the alumni group, said at the recent I-SS board meeting.

Since its inception, the alumni association has awarded more than $100,000 to college students. Some of the recipients have completed their education and are now working as pharmacists, doctors, pilots, engineers and other professionals.

The association has also made annual donations of $1,000 to the United Negro College Fund.

“We’ve been able to accomplish this by having small fundraisers and receiving generous donations from alumni and friends,” Woodard said.

The last graduating class at Unity was in 1969 so the youngest members of the alumni group are more than 70 years old now. As a result, the group decided to partner with I-SS Foundation to disseminate the scholarships.

Woodard said that descendants of Unity High School alumni will be eligible to apply for a scholarship, but if no descendants apply then that particular scholarship would be available to any student who graduates from an I-SS high school.

“With the creation of the Unity Legacy Fund, as we call it, we hope to leave a lasting footprint and create a steady income to our principal. We are hoping to have at least $30,000 by 2025. So when we meet the goal we can disseminate the scholarships,” Woodard said.

Anyone interested in making a legacy gift or donation to the Unity Legacy Fund can write a check to the I-SS Endowment fund and put “Unity School” in the memo.

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