Scholarship Luncheon

Scholarship Luncheon featuring a Philanthropy Conversation with Cathy Bessant


Cathy Bessant, President & CEO Foundation For The Carolinas
Cathy Bessant

Johnson C. Smith University returned to a long-kept tradition for the first time after COVID-19: The Scholarship Luncheon. This luncheon brings annual and endowed scholarship donors to campus to meet with students who are the direct beneficiaries of their contributions.

The event featured a conversation on philanthropy with Cathy Bessant, the president and CEO of Foundation for the Carolinas.

Bessant began her philanthropic discussion, moderated by Kinloch, by thanking the donors who were in the room.

“I grew up in a tiny, tiny, town,” said Bessant. “I would have never been able to go to college without a scholarship. When you are a scholarship donor, you change lives.”

During the conversation, Bessant discussed her role at Foundation for the Carolinas, an organization that catalyzes philanthropic activity by assisting donors in distributing their charitable assets across the 13-county region the foundation serves.

Kinloch questioned Bessant on topics like empathy, job hunting and, most importantly, diversity.

DEI education has come under fire in recent years, coming to a fever-pitch after a Supreme Court ruling

“Diversity always provides and produces better outcomes,” said Bessant. “Diversity has to be a foundational value for how we live. Shame on anyone who deters us from pursuing an equitable world.”


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