Welcome to the Pack, 2022 Class of Centennial Scholars!
By Cameron Walker
We are delighted to introduce you to the 2022 class of Centennial Scholarship recipients. The Centennial Scholarship program was established by the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) in 1999 as a part of the Wilson College of Textiles’ Centennial Celebration. The Centennial Scholarship provides each student a minimum of $15,000 per year for four years. These scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen on the basis of academic achievement in high school, proven and potential leadership qualities, extracurricular activities and unique life experiences.
The scholarship also provides $7,500 as a special enrichment fund that may be used for study abroad, leadership programs, career explorations or other approved enrichment activities.
This year’s group of scholars is comprised of artists, athletes, actors, musicians, community leaders and volunteers. They have all worked hard to get here and they all want to make the world a better place. We are thrilled to welcome them as members of the Wilson College of Textiles family.
Learn more about the Centennial Scholarship program and all of our scholarship opportunities. The Wilson College of Textiles is proud to say we have the largest per-student college-based scholarship program at NC State.
Molly Pruett is from Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy. She has been awarded the Unifi Centennial Scholarship and is studying Polymer and Color Chemistry.
“The Centennial Scholarship provides me the freedom and resources to achieve all my goals during my college experience,” she said. “I am specifically looking forward to the development programs and group of friends offered to me.”
She learned about the Wilson College of Textiles through an interest meeting at her high school and decided to attend after participating in the Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP).
“I felt that it was important to maintain a close community at such a large school,” she said. “The Wilson College of Textiles seemed incredibly personal and caring, which is why I chose to attend.”
Pruett ran her school’s yearbook club for four years and in that time, mentored many underclassmen. She is considering pursuing a master’s degree after graduation, and is hoping to build a network of contacts and mentors in the textile industry.
Marley Fanning is from Wilmington, North Carolina, and graduated from E.A. Laney High School. She has been awarded the Copeland Centennial Scholarship and is pursuing a degree in Polymer and Color Chemistry.
“I believe the hard work that I have put into high school is finally paying off with this opportunity,” she said. “I also believe there are expectations of me to be successful in the Wilson College of Textiles and I intend to fulfill these expectations. I feel honored and grateful that I have received this scholarship and I believe this program will provide me with the tools I need to be successful.”
Fanning learned about the Wilson College of Textiles through the STEM coordinator at her school, who recommended she apply for a Centennial Scholarship.
“The Wilson College of Textiles offers small class sizes, a major that puts me on a path toward my future career goals, and staff who are passionate about the success of their students,” she said.
In high school, she served as a mentor with the Grandparent Support Network, a program for children being raised by their grandparents, and was the tutoring liaison for her school’s National Honor Society. She also competed on her school’s Chem-Techathon team against other area schools in a series of chemistry competitions to win money for her school.
Fanning plans to continue her education in medical school, where she will study allergies and immunology in pursuit of a career as an allergist.
Anne Graf is from Cedar Grove, North Carolina, and graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. She has been awarded the Carl Boggs Centennial Scholarship.
“Receiving the Centennial Scholarship means many things,” she said. “It means I am part of a program, a family, comprised of others with similar interests to my own, with whom I will be building my future. It means I am representing NC State and the Wilson College of Textiles wherever I go, which is a huge honor and just as huge a responsibility. It means I am able to attend my dream school and pursue a career that I would not otherwise be able to undertake. Most of all, it means that I have been given an incredible opportunity that enables me to get involved, focus on academics, take cool seminars, potentially study abroad, and essentially make the absolute most I possibly can of my college experience.”
Graf, an alumna of STEP, is pursuing a degree in Fashion and Textile Design and hopes to change the fashion industry from the inside — working to make it more thoughtful of the environment and improve conditions for its workers — while designing garments that are wearable works of art.
“I want to create designs that press the bounds of physics, or utilize physical and chemical laws in order to become bigger and bolder than would otherwise be possible,” she said.
She grew up on a farm in the middle of the woods and is used to hard work like feeding sheep, planting and picking vegetables, waxing mushroom logs and making butter, jam, applesauce and canned goods. In high school, she danced, ran cross country, participated in Envirothon, helped organize a sustainability session for her school’s annual Ethics and Leadership Conference, volunteered as a camp counselor for the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, and served as a tutor for various programs. She is proficient in sewing and archery. After graduation, she hopes to join the Peace Corps.
“Working towards the greater good is very important to me, and I think that joining the Peace Corps is a perfect way to do that,” she said. “I would like to travel to another country where I can make a real difference, with manual labor, and hopefully with the skills and knowledge I gain in college.”
Addison Seay is from Asheville, North Carolina, and graduated from A.C. Reynolds High School. She has been awarded the Cornelson Centennial Scholarship and plans to major in Polymer and Color Chemistry.
“I am so honored to have received this scholarship,” she said. “It means that people trust me to pursue my degree and career, and I could not feel more proud of that…I know that people are counting on the Centennial scholars to impact the textile community and I hope to do just that.”
In high school, she participated in several service activities, including helping to create a clothing store for students in need and serving as secretary of the Girl Up Club, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign.
“Seeing what I can give to my school and community impacting others makes my effort worthwhile,” she said. “I am impacted by the generosity and support of others, so I hope to make the same impact on those around me.”
Seay learned about the Wilson College of Textiles when a representative from NC State gave a presentation in her high school chemistry class. She then attended STEP, where she made the choice to attend the Wilson College of Textiles and major in PCC.
“While I was on campus, I fell in love with the atmosphere, the people and the opportunities within the Wilson College of Textiles,” she said. “I knew instantly that it was where I wanted to be for the next four years.”
She is interested in learning more about careers in textiles, forensics and cosmetic chemistry after graduation, and may pursue a graduate degree.
Claire Marie Henson is from Hickory, North Carolina, and graduated from Saint Stephens High School. She has been awarded the ITT/Roger Milliken Centennial Scholarship and is pursuing a degree in Textile Engineering, which she hopes will challenge both her logical and creative sides.
“Receiving the Centennial Scholarship means that I now have the chance to achieve goals I never dreamed were possible,” she said. “I will have the chance to serve as a leader and role-model for the university as I use my gifts to give back. Not only does it relieve the pressure financially, but it has provided me with limitless opportunities to find a life-long career that I am passionate about. I will use this scholarship to find internships, seek new learning opportunities, and serve my community…With this scholarship, I want to do my part in saying thank you by finding what I love, pursuing it and changing other’s lives in the process.”
She learned about the Wilson College of Textiles from a family friend, whose brother was a Centennial Scholar, and her school counselors encouraged her to apply for the Centennial Scholarship.
“I chose the Wilson College of Textiles because it is a perfect combination of both a large and a small school,” she said. “I’m known to want to have my cake and eat it too, so going to school at a large university provides me with job and internship opportunities, while the smaller, family-like Wilson College of Textiles help me gain personal connections and relationships that will benefit me in the future.”
In high school, Henson participated in chorus, Beta Club, student council, travel volleyball and community theater, and served as a Key Club officer. She was deeply involved with her church, raising over $3,000 for Rise Against Hunger, and with Girl Scouts — for her Gold Award project, she created a program called “Girls CAN do STEM,” which aimed to teach young women about the opportunities available in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. She also attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a summer residential program for academically gifted high school students.
After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree or pursue a position at a company with similar values to hers.
“I want to work at a company that combines my love of logic and creativity like NC State does,” she said. “I want to change the world with my ideas and I want to work with others who can help me get there. I hope that after graduation I will have the foundation of knowledge to allow me to help others with textiles (and) I want to give back to a world that has already given me so much.”
Cecilia Huynh is from Archdale, North Carolina, and graduated from Wheatmore High School. She has been awarded the Hayes Endowed Centennial Scholarship.
“Receiving the Centennial Scholarship is the greatest accomplishment for me as a high school student,” she said. “To have the honor of being a Centennial Scholar means that my strive for excellence in my academic performance was acknowledged. The Centennial Scholarship is the justification for all my dedication and efforts because it is proof that hard work will result in greatness. I am grateful to have received this.”
She discovered the Wilson College of Textiles when a representative visited her high school.
“It took only one encounter with her to shift my future plans in the direction of textiles,” she said. “I want to be directly involved in a career that could positively impact the world… The Wilson College of Textiles has continuously impacted the world through its students. By providing vital opportunities and quality education for its students, the Wilson College of Textiles creates an exceptional environment to prepare me for my future ambitions.”
In high school, Huynh served in two leadership roles: as secretary for Health Occupations Students of America and as the senior representative for her school’s student council. She said holding the two positions simultaneously was challenging but ultimately rewarding.
“I was able to balance the crucial tasks for both leadership roles only after I understood the importance of time dedicated to managing the club activities,” she said. “Compromise and the importance of teamwork was emphasized and vital to the success of my leadership role.”
With her major currently undeclared, Huynh plans to explore the textile field before choosing a path.
“Textiles is a broad field with vast amounts of specific studies that can be taken in unique directions,” she said. “I am excited about the opportunity to thoroughly learn about textiles and its influence. By doing so, I will be able to choose the specific major that will fit perfectly with my goals.”
Dane Hunt is from Cary, North Carolina, and graduated from Cary High School. He has been awarded the Gunter/Blank Centennial Scholarship.
“To me, receiving the Centennial Scholarship means that people believe in what I can accomplish,” he said. “I see the Centennial Scholarship as others investing in my future, and that motivates me to work to the best of my abilities and makes me want to be able to give back to NC State.”
He plans to obtain a degree in Textile Engineering with a concentration in Information Systems Design, as well as a degree in Computer Science. He looks forward to applying his computer science skills to textile production.
“I am pursuing Textile Engineering because I feel like I can make a large impact on the modernization of the textile industry,” he said. “Combining Textile Engineering and Computer Science will allow me to bring in knowledge of how American companies can use technology to be one step ahead of foreign competitors.”
Hunt played both basketball and tennis throughout high school, which he credits with teaching him the importance of commitment, communication and leadership — skills that will serve him well in the years to come.
“My plans for after graduation really depend on my experiences at NC State, but right now I see myself hopefully having a job within the textile industry lined up through participating in an internship or co-op program,” he said. “My main goal is to be able to find a career that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to each day.”
Mary Grace Wilder is from Washington, North Carolina, and graduated from Washington Senior High School. She has been awarded the Matthai Warsaw Centennial Scholarship.
“I am honored to receive the Centennial Scholarship,” she said. “The financial impact can’t be overstated, but more importantly, the Centennial Scholarship will give me an opportunity to do something significant. I look forward to learning from other scholars and building a community within the Wilson College of Textiles. I am also excited about the opportunity to study abroad and learn how culture plays a part in textile design.”
After attending an open house her junior year, she chose the Wilson College of Textiles because it allowed her to join a creative field with practical applications.
“After exploring the Wilson College of Textiles, I knew I wanted to major in a textile-related field,” she said. “I was in awe of the ways textiles could make a difference in our lives — in the medical field, on the fashion runway, or even on the battlefield…I love the practicality and creativity a textile-related field offers. I am excited to develop and showcase products that enhance or even save lives…I love the fact that the textile field is evolving and there will always be something new to discover.”
She is pursuing a degree in Fashion and Textile Management and hopes to design and market a clothing line for people with disabilities.
“I want to be the kind of person who leaves a positive legacy,” she said. In high school, she founded Fashion Forward Prom Boutique, an organization serving young women in Beaufort County. Members of the community donate gently-worn formalwear to the boutique, which young high school women can purchase for $5. The organization has provided dresses to 80 women so far.
Kallista DeWulf is from Waxhaw, North Carolina, and graduated from Marvin Ridge High School. She has been awarded the W. Duke Kimbrell Centennial Scholarship.
“Receiving the Centennial Scholarship is the finest honor and accomplishment in my life thus far, and I believe that being a Centennial Scholar will facilitate more success in the future,” she said. “I cannot express my gratitude enough, and I look forward to making the North Carolina Textile Foundation proud for granting me this wonderful opportunity!”
Like many Centennial Scholars, DeWulf learned about the Wilson College of Textiles through STEP — inspired by the program, and convinced that textiles was the field for her, she decided to join the Wolfpack.
“The fashion and textile industry is an intriguing and constantly growing medium of expression, innovation, and culture,” she said. “I am drawn to fashion because it is such an international discipline- thus bringing worldwide perspectives into the industry.”
Since childhood, she has been interested in the fashion industry — often sitting down for hours to sketch her outfits for the week ahead. In high school, she exercised her creativity through theater, singing, dancing and competitive cheering. She was involved in the International Thespian Society Troupe 7704, serving as an officer her junior year and as president her senior year.
DeWulf has volunteered in her community, including Matthew’s Helping Hands, a nonprofit organization which provides recreational activities for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs. After graduation, she wants to continue to make a positive impact through her career and the skills she has gained from her education at the Wilson College of Textiles.
“I would love to become a buyer and one day open up my own boutique focused on promoting sustainability and using recyclable materials and fabric within the clothing and accessories,” she said. “I believe that we live in such a disposable society, and I would love to make a change through the textile and fashion industry.”
Ryan Darden is from High Point, NC, and graduated from High Point Central High School.
He has been awarded the Jeter and Phyllis Brawley Centennial Scholarship.
“To me, the Centennial Scholarship represents my future success,” he said. “Receiving the Centennial Scholarship gives me so much confidence in my ability to utilize the academic, service and work resources and opportunities available to me at NC State.”
He learned about the Wilson College of Textiles through a presentation in his high school chemistry class, and decided to attend NC State after a wonderful experience at STEP.
“After enjoying my time learning about textile engineering and even making some cool textiles items in the lab, I decided the Wilson College of Textiles would be the place that could capture my interest and prepare me for an engaging and successful career,” he said.
Darden was service-oriented in high school, active in five different service clubs as a member or in a leadership position, including organizing school-wide food drives. He plans to be active in the NC State community as well. He will major in Textile Engineering, and hopes to stay in the Triangle after graduation.
“I feel that with a major in Textile Engineering, I can make a positive impact in society by creating beneficial products,” he said. “Personally, I’ve always wanted a career that relates to science and helps people in society…the thing that appeals the most to me about my major is the opportunity — rather, the reality — that I can use my education to improve things for society.”