Gift pays tribute to a family of NC State alumni

Alice Bennett
Alice Bennett

Alice Bennett’s father, husband and son were NC State graduates. Before her death earlier this year, she made a gift to the College that would make all three of those alumni proud.

Bennett endowed a faculty fellowship for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the end of 2015. She passed away on March 29 at the age of 99 in Salisbury, NC.

After her death, representatives of the NC State Engineering Foundation learned that she had left the College additional funds through her estate plans.

Bennett was proud of her family’s connection to NC State, her daughter Barbara Furmanski said. Bennett was also motivated to follow up on plans to support the College that her son had made but was not able to follow through with.

Her son R. Ray Bennett Jr. earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1966 and spent his career as an electrical engineer with MeadWestvaco. Before his death in 2012, he had begun work with the Foundation on a planned gift to the College.

Ben Hughes retired as director of the Foundation in 2011 and now serves the organization as a special development advisor. Hughes had worked with Ray Bennett on that planned gift and later connected with his mother, Alice Bennett, and invited her to attend an NC State football game in the engineering dean’s suite.

Alice Bennett’s husband, Roy R. Bennett, was a 1934 graduate who served as a cooperative extension agent before joining the University’s Agronomy Department, providing the leadership for the tobacco extension program.

Alice Bennett’s father, James Claudius Barber, was a 1904 NC State mechanical engineering graduate.

“We are extremely grateful for Mrs. Bennett’s generous gift,” said Dr. Dan Stancil, ECE department head. “Recruiting and retaining top faculty members is critical to the continued success of the department, and the early years following a new hire are particularly important for getting a faculty member’s career off to a good start. Mrs. Bennett’s gift will significantly enhance our ability to recruit and support the success of new faculty members. The success of these outstanding faculty members will, in turn, enhance the education and experience of our students.”


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