Home : Giving to Hollins : The Belk Challenge

Claudia Belk '60, President Gray, Mary Claudia Belk Pilon

Claudia Watkins Belk '60 with President Gray and Mary Claudia Belk Pilon


What Qualified for the Match?

Any gift or pledge (not to exceed a five-year pledge payment period) made by June 30, 2010, to support global and intercultural understanding, including the following:

• Gifts to the Belk International Scholars Endowment


• Gifts to the Marguerite Prinet Hollins Abroad Paris Scholarship


• Gifts to any other new or existing abroad scholarship or international travel fund


• Gifts to general endowment for the abroad programs


•  Gifts to scholarships to support international students at Hollins


• Gifts to support any effort toward increased internationalization of the curriculum.




The Belk Challenge: For Women Who Are Going Places

Hollins Meets - and Exceeds - Second Belk Challenge to Support International Study


For the second time in sixteen months, Hollins has officially met and exceeded a challenge from the John M. Belk Educational Endowment to raise $500,000 to receive a matching grant of the same amount.


The grant will support the Claudia Watkins Belk International Scholars Endowment, which offers deserving Hollins students the chance to:


  • study abroad for a semester or a year,
  • participate in an international learning experience during the university's January Short Term,
  • or engage in community service or career internship placements abroad.


The late John Montgomery Belk established the endowment in 2007 in the name of his wife, who is a member of Hollins' Class of 1960 and a University Trustee since 2000.


A private philanthropic foundation based in Charlotte to support education initiatives, the John M. Belk Educational Endowment committed last July to give $500,000 to the study abroad endowment established in Mrs. Belk;s name provided Hollins was successful in raising an equal amount in gifts and pledges by March 31, 2010.


Hollins responded by raising $959,296 over an eight-month period, including a $750,000 gift from Hollins alumna and trustee Jean Hall Rutherfoord '74 and her husband, Thomas, to complete funding for a $1 million endowment to support the Rutherfoord Director of Hollins Abroad-Paris.


"Our goal is to provide an international study experience for every student who wants one, and meeting this challenge brings us a major step closer to making that goal a reality," said Hollins President Nancy Gray.


In November 2008, the John M. Belk Educational Endowment pledged $500,000 to Hollins for international study with the condition that the university raise an equal amount by March 31, 2009. In only five months, Hollins met and exceeded that challenge by raising $773,000.


Hollins accepted both challenge grants in conjunction with the public phase of its $125 million Campaign for Women Who Are Going Places, the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history and the largest undertaken by a southern women's college. The campaign ended June 30, 2010.


>> View photos of student days on Hollins Abroad Paris

>> Learn about Hollins Abroad today