Smithfield foundation funds scholarships

Published 9:21 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fayetteville State University in North Carolina has received a $100,000 donation from the Smithfield-Luter Foundation in Smithfield. The donation will be used for scholarships for children and grandchildren of Smithfield Foods employees who attend FSU.

“I am extremely grateful to the Smithfield-Luter Foundation for its continued support of Fayetteville State University and its students,” said FSU Chancellor James A. Anderson. “This donation not only demonstrates their commitment to education and to FSU, but it also shows that they are a corporation that puts the needs of its employees and their families at the forefront. As the cost of an education continues to rise, colleges and universities are looking for other resources to assist students with getting the quality education they deserve. This donation will certainly help achieve this end.”

Dennis Treacy, executive director of the Smithfield-Luter Foundation, said it is important for foundations and corporations to support higher education, especially in these tough economic times.

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“We understand that education is a crucial component of a healthy community, and we have a vested interest in preserving the vitality of the communities where we operate,” Treacy said.

“The Foundation hopes to ensure that the children and grandchildren of our employees have the opportunity to attend Fayetteville State, obtain a quality education, and therefore be equipped to serve as leaders in the local business community.”

Established in 2002, the Smithfield-Luter Foundation is a nonprofit organization that acts as the philanthropic wing of Smithfield Foods Inc. Since its inception, the Smithfield-Luter Foundation has provided educational scholarships to the dependent children and grandchildren of full-time and retired employees of Smithfield and its family of companies.

In addition to FSU, these scholarships are now available at Iowa State University, Johnson & Wales, Norfolk State University, Paul D. Camp Community College, Virginia Tech, Virginia Union University and Wake Forest University. Through fiscal 2012, the foundation has granted 127 annual scholarships worth more than $2 million.

Treacy said the Foundation wants to invest in young people in communities where its businesses operate. He said he hopes these students will one day become future leaders of Smithfield Foods.

“We also care for our employees, and this scholarship opportunity is one way we can show them our dedication to their well-being and the well-being of their families,” he said.