News: NC Safewater Endowment Fund

Donor Profile: Les and Elaine Hall

Tuesday, April 26, 2016  
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This Donor Profile was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of NC Currents. 

The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to students who are studying engineering at one of the UNC campuses with a concentration on water environment. The scholarship is awarded to a rising junior, with a goal of continuing the scholarship annually through two years of graduate studies.

Les was one of the founders of the NC Endowment Program. He credits Steve Shoaf, now retired from the City of Asheville, as being the brainchild of the program. They kept seeing money come in and money go out, and they realized that there needed to be more predictability and sustainability.

A task force of seven people was started. Because Les sat on the NC AWWA-WEA board, he became the liaison between the groups. Working together, the NC Safewater Fund was established and is now composed of 11 named funds.

Les and Elaine were among the initial donors to create a named fund. When asked what motivated him, Les said that he recognizes that he has been blessed to be able to be an engineer. “I wanted to help others. I only worked for two firms in my career. I worked with and for supervisors and partners who believed in giving back – especially to the profession that has provided for us.” He feels he has been inspired by people who share the philosophy that there is an ethical dimension to every decision we make, which has compelled him to raise awareness of the central role of water in our lives and to provide opportunities to those who want to protect it. Les expressed his enthusiasm for being a part of a scholarship program that will be self-sustaining. As he stated, “We are not spending donations, we are spending earnings.”

Les hopes that those coming onto the committee, who will manage and grow the fund, will carry it forward with the same passion with which it was started


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