Richard M. Penegar ’52 Scholarship

Your Gaston County Carolina Club is proud to sponsor a scholarship  in honor of Richard M. Penegar ’52. The scholarship is a need-based scholarship awarded to Carolina students hailing from Gaston County. The recipient is chosen by the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Contributing to the Richard M. Penegar ’52 – Gaston County Carolina Club Scholarship Fund is easy. It takes less than 5 minutes to help a young Tar Heel achieve their dreams at Carolina. Just follow these steps:

1. Visit this site:
2. Under Become a Sustainer, select if you want to make a one-time gift or a recurring monthly gift
3. Under Gift Information, scroll down to Regional Scholarships and select Gaston County Carolina Club Scholarship (656560)
4. Enter your gift amount and follow the on-screen instructions to complete your gift

RICHARD PENEGAR ’52 (1930 – 2016)

Richard Melton Penegar was born in 1930 in Charlotte. His family moved to Gastonia in 1940. He graduated from Gastonia High School in 1948 where he was senior class president.

Richard graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1952 with a bachelors of science in business administration. While at UNC he served as president of Kappa Sigma fraternity, a member of the football team, and was active in campus politics. He also later served on the UNC General Alumni Board (1989-95) and the Morehead-Cain Scholars selection committee.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Richard returned to Gastonia where he grew the family office supply business that his father had started from a mainly typewriter and business machines company to a complete office interiors business. Richard was committed to community and promoting education. He served on boards of directors for Belmont Abbey College, Gaston College, the NC School of Science and Math, the Charlotte Museum of History, the Piedmont Council of Boy Scouts and Gastonia Rotary Club. Richard was a founder of Holy Angels and a bank director of First Union National Bank and Alliance Bank.

Richard and his wife Lucy were named Persons of the year by the Gaston Gazette in 1999 and given the MLK Unity Award by Gaston Together in 2011. The Gaston Organization for Community Concerns posthumously presented Richard with the 2017 Humanitarian Award for his leadership in fostering equality.

In addition to his wife Lucy, his family includes his son Mark, a graduate of N.C. State University, and twin daughters Ginger Rowe ’89 and Merry Deely ’89, who are both UNC graduates, and six grandchildren. When Richard retired in the early 2000’s, he focused on Real estate, his grandchildren, and their historic family farm and continued to serve his community until his recent death.

To learn more about Carolina Club scholarships, contact Jack Ahern at