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In 1967 Arthur Bannerman, then the president of Warren Wilson College, invited Norm Propst to supervise the College’s carpentry work crew. Norm, or “Old Top” as he is known by many, has now been supervising the carpentry crew for over four decades. Through the years, Norm has taught meaningful skills to students—from how to hold a hammer to how to successfully manage time in the Triad education program—and he recognizes Warren Wilson as a place where invaluable learning occurs. “There’s no other place I’ve heard of where you can really have a meaningful impact on somebody,” Norm says. “[At Warren Wilson] you have a chance to make someone a better person and prepare them for the outside world.”
For Norm, work has never been about just getting a job done. Instead, it’s about empowering students to do a job well while at the same time appreciating community. Because of Norm’s remarkable devotion and careful guidance, his students graduate with strong confidence, caring hearts, and a powerful work ethic. He has, indeed, helped prepare them for the outside world.
Because of his significant influence on countless lives at Warren Wilson, a group of alumni decided to surprise Norm and honor him with an endowed scholarship in his name. The Norm Propst Scholarship will help ensure that Norm’s love for the College and its community is not only remembered, but celebrated.
With over 90 percent of Warren Wilson students receiving institutional assistance, scholarships are important to our students and our College. They help Warren Wilson College attract and retain students of high academic caliber and personal merit, regardless of their financial situation, and help realize student dreams. When scholarships are endowed, they become perpetual, permanent funds that continue to grow and provide a stable stream of revenue above those generated from student tuition and annual giving campaigns.
An endowed scholarship at Warren Wilson College requires a minimum of $25,000 in total funds. The College then invests the principal for growth and allocates earnings of about five percent of each year to qualifying students, with increasingly more scholarship dollars awarded each year thereafter as the endowed fund grows. All Warren Wilson students needing financial aid are eligible to apply for the Norm Propst Scholarship.