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The Ruth C. Samuelson Legacy Fund

The Fund aims to empower Carolina undergraduate and dual bachelor-graduate public policy students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to become empathetic and trust-building public servants. The Fund has a two-pronged approach. First, the fund will provide students an interactive training experience on trust. Future leaders will be able to better manage change and lead teams that are innovative, collaborative and engaged. Second, the fund provides support for undergraduates or graduate students to participate in a “listening tour” policy research project over the summer.

Ruth Samuelson represented the 104th District of Mecklenburg County in the North Carolina House of Representatives for eight years. She began on the back row of the Chamber and through hard work became Majority Whip in 2010 and then served as the first Republican Conference Leader, the fourth highest ranked position in the House. Her colleagues unanimously selected her in 2013 to serve another term as chairman for the Republican Caucus Campaign Committee after she guided the committee to its first supermajority status in NC’s history. Ruth also presided as chairman of the House Banking Committee & Environmental Rules Commission. She was vice-chairman of public utilities and the environment and served as a member on numerous other House committees. Rep. Samuelson was a Mecklenburg Board of County commissioner before being elected to the House. She was instrumental in the development of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and it becoming part of the 113-mile Carolina Thread Trail. She received a bachelor’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and credits her masters in negotiation to raising her children at home. The latter the most practical skill as Ruth was often called upon to mediate differences on complex policy issues in the House and she credited it for her abilities to often keep unity among the 77-member caucus during election season.

In January 2015, Ruth embarked on her passion of helping high-capacity donors clarify their philanthropic vision. She served as regional philanthropy advisor for Excellence in Giving, LLC helping people simplify options, leverage opportunities and maximize impact.

In January 2017, Ruth died at age 57.  Through her hospitality, public service, relationships, and journey with cancer, Ruth’s legacy continues to make a profound impact.

This fund was established to honor her legacy and continue her life-long example of service and giving.