By his own admission, Lynn Eury was raised to give back. But to understand his passion for philanthropy, you need to know three things: his respect for education, his deep-seated desire to make a difference in his community, and the love story that defined more than 60 years of his life.
RAISED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Eury name is attached to many scholarships and gifts to a variety of North Carolina educational institutions, including UNC Greensboro and the Bryan School of Business and Economics. For example, the Faye Young Eury and Lynn W. Eury Endowed Scholarship Fund has supported 12 Bryan School students since its inception in 2006. What is remarkable is that these gifts were made by a man who, during his early years, was not sure whether a college degree would be possible for him.
Born to sharecroppers with only an eighth-grade education, Eury and his sister worked the family farm in rural North Carolina alongside their parents, equally learning the value of hard work and the expectation to make something of themselves.
“My dad was a bright man and wanted his kids to better themselves – but not to the exclusivity of self. In our home, we were expected to help make our community better,” Eury says.
By working extra jobs and with the support of a grant at North Carolina State University, Eury was able to put himself through college. “Being able to go to school was a privilege for me and I was well aware of the sacrifice my parents made to allow me that opportunity. I was not going to let them down,” he says.
HELPING STUDENTS ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS
Eury graduated from NC State in 1959 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and is a Fellow in the Professional Engineers of North Carolina and the National Society of Professional Engineers. During his career with Carolina Power & Light Company, he rose through the ranks to achieve numerous leadership positions, including executive vice president, before his retirement.
“By some standards, I may be considered a successful man,” Eury says. “But what is more important is that adhering to standards of hard work, constant learning, giving back, and leaving the world a better place, I will have accomplished what is important to me.”
His spirit of generosity was matched by that of his wife, Faye. Together they instilled those same ethics in their daughters and vowed to provide educational opportunities for others.
“Neither of us had scholarships to go through school, but we believed it to be important for us to help prepare motivated students in their community,” Eury says about their decision to establish the endowed scholarship for Bryan School students. “It has been a privilege to provide the funds that have helped students achieve their dreams and make our community and other communities better by their service.”
Eury is passionate about helping students further their educational goals. He is especially engaged with the Bryan Blueprint Series, the Bryan School’s personal and professional development curriculum designed to help students graduate with employable skills.
“I like seeing students who find their passion use that to pursue their education and career paths and make the world a better place. Providing practical knowledge and helping them apply that in their undergraduate courses is critical, and I am 100 percent behind the Bryan School,” he says.
HONORING A LEGACY OF HELPING OTHERS
Lynn and Faye ’56 (Business) met in the summer of 1958. Their whirlwind romance culminated a year later in a marriage that lasted for 60 years. “We raised three daughters, and Faye was key to my success, always supporting me and encouraging me to reach my goals,” Eury says.
Faye was diagnosed with dementia several years ago and died in 2019. In the last few years of her life, the disease often robbed her of recognizing her family. But just a few days before her death, Lynn received a final gift of encouragement from his sweetheart.
“I was feeding her lunch and she looked me in the eye and said clear as day: ‘You are a good man Lynn’ and she knew exactly to whom she was talking,’” Eury says.
Inspired by his wife’s last words and her lifelong devotion to helping others, Eury contacted McRae C. (Mac) Banks, dean of the Bryan School. They met at his home and he drove the dean to the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center at NC State University, where they visited the Eury Room.
“I think we need something like this at the Bryan School,” Eury told Banks as they visited the center. “I’d like to honor Faye this way.” Eury’s gift to name the Faye Young Eury Conference and Events Room provides for critical renovations and upgrades to the space, which is seen and used by students, faculty, staff, and guests. It also supports the Blueprint Series.
“What is important in life is to make a difference in the lives of others and to leave the world in a better place,” Eury says. “This gift is just one more way I can live up to Faye’s — and my own — expectations.”