Why We Give
Lizzie Tart will hopefully have lived a long and fruitful life and had a lovely worded obituary written about her before Campbell University sees the first dime of her endowed scholarship gift. She’ll never get to meet the first student — likely a young woman with big dreams of going into the business world — whose education will be made possible by her generosity.
And Lizzie Tart is OK with that.
“It’s not about me,” she says. “I’m starting this scholarship in honor of the important women in my life who paved the way for me. I’m very lucky to have had lots of very strong women — my mom, my grandmother, business mentors. [Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement] Sarah Swain was one of my first true mentors, and my current boss is just awesome. I’m just lucky to have had these people and these experiences, and Campbell has the capability of sending these kinds of individuals out into the world.
“So to me, this is about leaving a legacy — I don’t have to be around to see it.”
Barely five years after walking the stage and receiving her bachelor’s degree in trust and wealth management, Tart — now the lead project manager at Lumen Technologies — has begun a planned gift toward a scholarship specifically aimed at women majoring in business. She’s giving now toward that $25,000 scholarship, which will be part of a trust, and the gift will go into effect when she decides to pass it on to the beneficiary, which in this case will be Campbell. While death doesn’t have to be the event that makes that happen, it’s often part of one’s will.
Even though it may be years before anybody benefits, Tart feels like she’s making a difference now.
“I would not have been able to come to Campbell it it weren’t for the academic scholarships I received,” she says. “My mom was a single mother, and we just wouldn’t have been able to swing it otherwise. That’s part of the reason this is so important to me.”
Tart was looking at the bigger schools in the Triangle coming out of high school and admittedly didn’t know much about Campbell before her visit back in 2011. And she still wasn’t sold after her first visit, because she still liked the idea of attending a large school. But she applied and was accepted, and while visiting campus during Accepted Students Day, her outlook changed. She met and got to know the faculty and staff at the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, and she liked the attention and the genuine interaction she received.
While her career didn’t end up following the “trust and wealth management” route, she’s thankful for her Campbell experience and credits it for the career she’s begun.
“I tell everybody I know that Campbell gives you a different experience than any other university, and I have friends who’ve attended colleges all over the country,” she says. “The opportunities that were available to me, the internships I had every summer, getting involved in student government, working in the advancement office and becoming a founding sister of a sorority — these are opportunities that just wouldn’t have been available to me anywhere else.”
Nearly a third of all incoming freshmen at Campbell University are first-generation college students, meaning they’re coming from a family whose parents did not earn a four-year degree. First-generation students historically have a more difficult time earning a degree in four years for a variety of reasons. Campbell’s Peer Mentor Program and First Year Experience are designed help first-gen students navigate those first few difficult years of their college experience.
Being a part of the first panhellenic sorority on campus — Delta Phi Epsilon — was a huge part of Tart’s Campbell experience. She and the other founding sisters were tasked with building by-laws, building a constitution and laying the foundation for an organization that will hopefully last for generations on campus. Tart served as the sorority’s vice president for operations and was tasked with “real-life accounting” and managing the organization’s funds.
She also spent time as a student worker for Campbell’s Office of Advancement and was able to see firsthand the impact gifts from donors can have on a smaller university.
“That experience showed me how important it is to have people continue to stay involved — whether it’s financially, through volunteering or just by spreading Campbell’s name,” she says. “For a lot of people, college is a four-year experience, and once they get their education, they move on with their life and don’t look back. But I think what Campbell has to offer is so special, and I feel like I have to share my experience with other people — especially future students — to let them know what a hidden gem this place is.”