For C.T. Lefler ’11, one of the best-selling points for UNC Charlotte’s Legacy Program is the draping ceremony for graduating students. During the ceremony, a family member who is also a UNC Charlotte graduate places a stole on the student and, in turn, the student pins the family member.
“It’s a real family event,” said Lefler, a third-generation alumnus who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree.
Legacy students have a parent, stepparent or grandparent who is an alumnus/a of UNC Charlotte. Support comes in the form of special programs, social and networking events. Now, the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Legacy Alumni Committee is hoping to add another benefit for legacy students through the 49er Legacy Scholarship. The committee is crowdfunding to offer a $10,000 scholarship annually to a legacy student.
Lefler, who is chairperson of the Legacy Alumni Committee, said his family’s interest in the University was reignited after he enrolled. His grandfather, a U.S. Army veteran, was one of the first students to enroll in what was then known as Charlotte College. His father is a 1974 graduate of the University, and his sister is a 2013 graduate. He also met his wife, Eva Marie ’11, at UNC Charlotte.
“It didn’t hurt that my family went here,” Lefler said, “but they certainly didn’t pressure me into going here just for that reason. I kind of chose it on my own.”
Still, being a legacy student is important, and Lefler said UNC Charlotte has a unique legacy program that strives to give those students a special experience. They participate in welcoming events at the beginning of the academic year, as well as special tailgating and other activities at sporting events. Annually, the University enrolls approximately 300 legacy students.
These events engage legacies, and they encourage their alumni relatives to rediscover UNC Charlotte and all it has to offer.
Lefler said it’s very rewarding to have families of incoming freshmen spend time on campus after having not visited for years.
“Just little things like that are really a lot of the reason that we do it,” he said.
Image: A legacy student with her proud parents.