SHSAA to create $1M scholarship endowment fund

By: By Chris Berendt -

In the four decades since it was founded, the Sampson High School Alumni Association has awarded approximately $350,000 in scholarships. The group is seeking to build on that in a major way with the establishment of a $1 million endowment.

The Sampson High School Alumni Association is hosting its 44th annual reunion this weekend, from Aug. 12-14, at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center. Founded in 1973, the association is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has served the community through various programs, including the awarding of scholarships.

“The reunion attracts school alumni from all over the country in support its scholarship program and the re-establishment of the legacy of the school’s historic contributions as the once only high school educational venue for the City of Clinton’s African-American citizenry,” a SHSAA press release stated.

To date, the SHSAA has awarded $350,000 in college scholarships to over 200 students graduating from Clinton and Sampson County area high schools.

A highlight of this weekend’s reunion will be the establishment of the $1 million Sampson High School Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment Fund, an investment that will generate revenue to provide college scholarships in perpetuity.

“We need to grow the resources of our organization in order to create a perpetual lifeline for our civic mission of empowering individual lives through providing college scholarships for many generations to come” said Anthony C. McPhail, chairman of the Scholarship Endowment’s Planning Committee.

McPhail, a retired division sales manager for Nestleˊ S.A., the world’s largest food manufacturer, has worked with planning committee members Dr. Jesse F. Williams, co-founder of the organization and the retired medical director of the Cumberland County Health Department; and Iris McCollum Green, Esq., a past-president of the Washington, D.C. Bar Association; “to develop a sustainable blueprint for this critically needed educational resource,” the release stated.

“The combined expertise of this planning committee is reflective of the many highly-accomplished professional success stories of Sampson High School alumni living all over the United States,” it read.

On Sept. 1, the organization will initiate its campaign to raise funding for the endowment through a community-based contributions appeal that will last for two years. Once the goal of $1 million is achieved, the organization will begin to distribute scholarships from the endowment during the 2019 academic year.

“This scholarship endowment could become the most important college scholarship incubator in the history of the City of Clinton and Sampson County,” McPhail stated.

For more information, contact the organization via its website, at

By Chris Berendt

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.