Honoring Commitments

American flag with the Carolina bell tower in the background.

The bequest from Southport residents, Ms. Judith Mahan Carmichael ’75, a graduate of the Adams School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program, and Mr. Ronald W. Carmichael, is the largest gift to the dental hygiene program to date and will establish the Judith Mahan Carmichael Scholarship for dental hygiene students with military affiliation. 

This gift will not only honor the dedication of the Carmichaels’ family members to the United States military, it will also significantly impact the lives of students like Alicia Hojara, a second-year dental hygiene student and United States marine veteran, for years to come.

Like many veterans, Hojara was unsure of which direction to take once her service ended.

“That sense of structure and discipline ultimately made my decision to pursue this path an easy one,” said Hojara. “Being a United States Marine, I know what it means to be the best of the best. I lived a life of pursuing high standards and meeting those standards. The Adams School of Dentistry is the epitome of that, and being a part of this institution has given me that sense of fulfillment I’ve missed since I transitioned out of the military.”

The Carmichaels’ gift counts toward the University’s Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge — established by a commitment from 1978 alumni Steve and Debbie Vetter — to raise $40 million in need-based scholarships for students with military affiliations.

“I realize now the sacrifices both my parents made to educate their three children on a military salary,” said Ms. Carmichael. “We hope to ease this financial pressure for others who have served honorably in our armed forces. We are very thankful to the Vetters for the opportunity to take part in their Red, White and Carolina Blue Challenge!”

Read the complete Carolina Story to learn more about this historic gift …

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