Aaron Thomas | Staff Writer


The Leader of the Pack scholarship program recognizes students who have made significant contributions to the university based on leadership, scholarship, and community service. Applications are now open until 5 p.m. on Sep. 30.

Austin Bath, last year’s winner of the scholarship, likes the way the program is set up.

“It’s N.C. State’s version of Homecoming king and queen, but instead focuses on leadership, scholarship, and service rather than popularity,” Bath said.

In order to be considered eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have completed two semesters at N.C. State at the time of application and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Applicants must also be free from academic integrity probation and any previous or current disciplinary probation.

A diverse panel of N.C. State faculty, staff, and student leaders will review the applications and select 12 semifinalists. Each semifinalist will go through an interview process.

Six finalists will be selected based on grade point average, student involvement and written essays describing their leadership and service experience. A student-body vote of the six finalists will also be taken into consideration.

A senior in human biology, Bath was fortunate to be one of the six finalists awarded the top honor.

“It was pretty exciting when I found out I won,” Bath said. “[No one] tells you beforehand.”

Finalists have the opportunity to participate in the Homecoming parade and attend the Homecoming football game the day after. The Leader of the Pack will be recognized on the field during halftime.

The winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship next fall semester. A $250 reward from the N.C. State Bookstores will be given to the finalist with the highest grade point average.

Beginning in 2002, the university started the program as an alternative to the traditional Homecoming king and queen. Both a male and female were able to win the award until 2012.

Student Body President Rusty Mau is also a recipient of the scholarship, winning in 2012.

“Winning was a surreal and humbling experience,” Mau said. He considers the semifinalists and finalists incredible people that he looks up to.

With a student body representing many different backgrounds and cultures, both Bath and Mau hope this year’s winner is someone who embodies the true meaning of the Leader of the Pack.

“They should represent the university as a whole since there are people from all different walks of life,” said Bath.

“It’s difficult because we are so big, but [the winner] should excel in a number of areas and be able to bring students together,” said Mau.

Mau also encourages students to not take the application for granted and take advantage of the opportunity.

“Many student leaders don’t recognize the strength of their leadership,” he said.

Interested applicants can apply for the Leader of the Pack Scholarship online. http://csleps.dasa.ncsu.edu/leadership/leader-pack