The pride of the Pack: Endowment started in honor of Lalla SidburyPublished 8:41pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013
In her last years, Lalla Sidbury devoted all of the spare time and energy she could to her alma mater, North Carolina State University.
She served on the board of directors for the NC State University Alumni Association for eight years and founded Beaufort County’s alumni chapter. She hosted send-off parties for local incoming freshmen and oyster roasts for alumni.
“She loved her school beyond belief. I mean everything was about her alma mater,” said her husband, Forest Sidbury.
Friends and family have started an endowment to honor Lalla and continue her commitment to NC State. Starting fall 2014, the $1,000 Lalla Hodges Sidbury Memorial Scholarship willbe awarded to an N.C. State student from Beaufort County.
The university’s chancellor, Randy Woodson, contacted Forest shortly after Lalla died last July, suggesting an endowment be started in her honor. When the school sent drafts of the proposed scholarship, friends and family saw one change that had to be made. Where most scholarships are based on merit, they asked that need be a component of Lalla’s.
“Usually, the university picks an applicant based on merit, but we know Lalla would’ve wanted it to be based on need,” said Paige Harris, a fellow alumna and friend of Lalla’s. “So, it is actually a combination of need and merit.”
Lalla was a double graduate from N.C. State. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1978. Once she started working in human resources for the City of Washington, she returned to N.C. State for her master’s degree, completing it in 1996.
“She was travelling two or three nights a week to N.C. State for five years to get her master’s degree in public administration,” Forest said.
The $1,000 scholarship will require an investment of $25,000 in order for it to continue to be awarded indefinitely. Forest and friends have prepared a letter to solicit funds from alumni association members and friends of Lalla’s. The letters will be sent in November to coincide with her Nov. 12 birthday, but funds have already started pouring in, the first of which came from a Pirate, not a member of the Wolfpack.
“She was so well-liked by the community, that Mac Hodges had heard about Lalla’s endowment scholarship and he wanted to be the first one to donate,” Forest said. “It brought me to tears. She would be flattered that a diehard ECU fan wanted to be the first donor.”
Forest said Lalla would have been humbled by a scholarship in her name.
“She was always a person that never wanted attention to herself. Even right up to the end she would never let us know she was hurting as bad as she was,” he said. “But it (the endowment) was a no-brainer to keep her legacy going.”
To contribute to the endowment, contact Forest Sidbury at 252-945-3377 or Paige Harris at 252-946-8154.