Durham Tech exceeds SunTrust Foundation matching challenge to expand Phail Wynn Scholarship


durham tech logo and suntrust logoDuke University, Research Triangle Foundation were among donors who contributed in the retired Durham Tech president’s honor

Durham Technical Community College has surpassed the $100,000 SunTrust Foundation matching challenge to grow the Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. SunTrust Foundation Scholarship Endowment with significant contributions from community members and college partners.

Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr. served as president of Durham Tech for nearly 30 years. He was the first African-American community college president in North Carolina. Wynn passed away of natural causes in July.

To date, more than $260,000 has been raised for the scholarship in his name.

Duke University and the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina were early lead donors supporting the challenge, each gifting $25,000 to the Durham Tech Foundation for this purpose. Community leaders and board members from several institutions where Wynn served in leadership roles also provided special gifts in his memory.

The scholarship honoring Wynn was initially established at Durham Tech upon his retirement in 2007. It currently awards partial funding to one student a year.

The current funds, in addition to any future support, will allow the scholarship to cover two or more students’ tuition, fees, books, and supplemental educational experiences annually for up to three years.

In honor of Wynn’s military service, the expanded scholarship will also allow military veterans to apply for consideration.

“The generosity of the SunTrust Foundation, Duke University, Research Triangle Foundation, and many friends and supporters will allow Durham Tech to provide more students with a full college education while helping us uphold Dr. Wynn’s legacy and his commitment to education,” said Melissa Chappell, Executive Director of the Durham Tech Foundation.

Soon after leaving Durham Tech, Wynn was hired as the first vice president for Durham and Regional Affairs at Duke University in 2008 and was given the title of president emeritus by the Durham Tech Board of Trustees. He retired from Duke in June.

“Both at Durham Tech and at Duke, Phail was a great champion of our city and of the power of education to uplift our neighbors,” said Vincent E. Price, Duke President. “I can’t imagine a more fitting way to honor his legacy than with the expansion of this scholarship. Duke is excited to partner with our colleagues at Durham Tech to provide this opportunity to the next generation, and we are particularly proud to do so in Phail’s name.”

Wynn came to Durham Tech in 1977 when the college was known as Durham Technical Institute. He was instated as president in November 1980.

“The Research Triangle Foundation benefited greatly from Phail’s commitment to our community, and we honor and remember him with the contributions to the scholarship fund from our individual board members and our Foundation,” said Scott Levitan, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation. "We believe our support mirrors the personal optimism and enthusiasm our friend, Phail Wynn, would have wanted in order to expand the educational opportunities for eligible students. May his memory be an inspiration to us all.”

The Durham Tech Foundation is a charitable organization that promotes the current and long-term success of Durham Tech by inspiring charitable investment in its students, faculty, and staff.

For more information about Durham Tech, visit durhamtech.edu. To make a gift to the Phail Wynn SunTrust Foundation Scholarship, visit durhamtech.edu/durham-tech-foundation.