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N.C. State Scholarship Fund To Honor Chapel Hill Shooting Victims

Members of the Barakat and Abu-Salha families share their gratitude for N.C. State's new scholarship fund honoring the memories of Razan Abu-Salha, Deah Abu-Salha and Yusor Abu-Salha.
Reema Khrais

North Carolina State University is creating a scholarship fund to honor Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, three family members who were shot to death in Chapel Hill February 10. A neighbor, Craig Hicks, has been charged with first-degree murder.

“This is the first blessing and the first happy day after the tragedy,” said Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of Razan and Yusor, on Friday afternoon when university officials announced the new endowment.

“Nothing is more awesome than supporting scholars on an annual basis to come here and study if they couldn’t afford it.”

The “Our Three Winners” scholarship will honor students who demonstrate creativity, leadership and service, traits the three exemplified.

Barakat, 23, graduated from N.C. State in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was studying dentistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. His wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and was going to join Barakat at UNC’s dentistry school in the fall. Her younger sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, was a sophomore studying architecture at the College of Design.

NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson said he hopes that the scholarships will forever honor the memories of “three avid members of the Wolfpack family, while also serving as a beacon…on the importance of diversity, support, acceptance and inclusion.”

“They exemplified the best of NC State and will forever serve as role models for the student body,” Woodson said.

Namee Barakat, the father of Deah Barakat, said he was touched that their alma mater is honoring their legacy.

“I just can’t help but think what they’re thinking - Deah, Yusor and Razanm – and how proud they would be,” he said.

NC State is using institutional funds to launch the endowment and is seeking donations to grow the fund. Contributions to the “Our Three Winners” Scholarship fund can be made through or by check to: Our Three Winners, Campus Box 7474, Raleigh, NC 27695-7474. 

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.
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