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New Need-Based Scholarship Supports Student Veterans

Alumnus Carroll “Scotty” Scott and his wife Shirley established the scholarship and met the first recipient, Jose Hernandez (Business Administration ’24) this fall.

A group of people make wolfie signs with their hands in front of an American flag and the U.S. Army flag
From left, Nick Drake, Jose Hernandez, Shirley Scott, Lauren Welch and Carroll "Scotty" Scott pose for a photo in the office for Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran Services.

There are currently almost 2,400 military connected students at NC State, including hundreds of student veterans. While the GI Bill covers 100% of tuition and fees and provides a monthly stipend for those veterans, the cost of housing, food, gas and other necessities continue to rise and make it difficult to be a full-time student. 

That’s one reason why Carroll “Scotty” Scott and his wife Shirley established a new need-based scholarship for student veterans at NC State this past year. The couple chose to make this gift because of Scotty’s love for NC State and respect for veterans. It was also established in honor of Shirley’s late son, Ricky D. Pruitt II, who was a veteran himself. Their hope is that it will inspire others to give and support our nation’s veterans — especially those at NC State.

“I wanted to give back to NC State somehow,” Scotty said. “They’ve done a lot for me over the years and helped me get where I am today.”

“He’s always been passionate about giving back, and I’ve always admired that about him,” Shirley added. “We talked a lot about it and wanted to give back to help veterans, since I had lost my son, and we decided it would be nice to do it in his honor.”

Scotty is originally from Garner, N.C., and studied ag economics at NC State. He has worked for Fluor Corporation for over 42 years, and during that time has lived in Raleigh, Greenville, S.C. and Houston, Texas. Scotty also met Shirley while he lived in Greenville. In addition to this latest gift, Scotty has been a longtime supporter of Wolfpack Athletics as a donor, leader of the Greenville, S.C. Wolfpack Club chapter and a football season ticket holder. The Scotts now live in Emerald Isle, N.C.

This fall, the Scotts had the opportunity to meet the first recipient of their new scholarship, Jose Hernandez (Business Administration ’24). Hernandez is originally from New Jersey and served in the signal corps for the U.S. Army for several years before being honorably discharged. In the last few years, he has shifted his career goals and  focused on higher education. After earning his associate’s degree, he transferred to NC State this summer, where he is a full time student working towards a degree in business administration with a concentration in information technology. After graduation, he wants to enter the IT field and start his own business.

Hernandez, along with his wife, Desiree, and young son, Jeremiah, just moved into a house in Wake Forest, N.C. earlier this year. Hernandez applied for the new scholarship through ePack, and expressed his gratitude to the Scotts for the financial assistance as he focuses on his education.

“The GI Bill doesn’t cover gas, and books are incredibly expensive,” Hernandez said. “They do give you a stipend, but you still find yourself trying to look for more money because it’s just not enough nowadays.”

Hernandez also credited Jeffrey Wright Military and Veteran Services and its director, Nick Drake, for helping him apply to NC State and get adjusted to life as a college student.

“I couldn’t have done any of this without Nick’s help. Every school I’ve been to, I’ve always relied on the support from the veterans center because there’s so much to learn and navigate. I’m so happy to be here and excited for what comes next.”

If you would like to support NC State’s military-affiliated students, please contact Nicki Peterson, executive director of development, at or 919-513-1337.