Scholarship created in slain Aggie’s honor

The 2009 Senior Class in conjunction with the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, and on behalf of the Hayle family, is establishing an endowed scholarship to be awarded to “deserving and qualified” students in honor of slain Aggie Dennis Hayle.

“The purpose for the endowment and the scholarship is to reflect Dennis’ heart,” said Dominique Donaldson, a senior economics major and Vice-President of the Senior Class. “He had a passion for helping people and encouraging children to go to school, despite what circumstances they came from at home. Dennis contributed so much. He truly loved the university.”

Hayle, a 22-year old senior political science and criminal justice major at A&T and native of Hempstead, N.Y., was shot and killed on January 25th at 805 Homeland in the Campus Courtyard Apartment complex.

The gentleman who was known for his vibrant character and school spirit was also a Spring 2008 initiate into the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, as well as a member of the Model United Nations.

A minimum requirement of $25,000 must be raised by the senior class in order to endow the scholarship. That amount would then be eligible to have the funds matched by the university reaching a total of $50,000.

The significance of an endowment is that the scholarship will continue until the funds of the scholarship are depleted or A&T ceases to exist as a university.

The Senior Class is at roughly between $14,000 and $16,000 committed, according to Senior Class President Gerard Wheeler.

All parties involved are working closely with Stephanie Hayle, Dennis’ mother, who is specifically in charge of constructing the criteria for the scholarship.

Although their will be academic standards for students to receive the scholarship, she wants the majority of it to be based around character – something that her son is remembered for so fondly.

“We’ve decided to do the Dennis Hayle Scholarship as our gift for the senior class,” said Gerard Wheeler, senior psychology major and Senior Class President.

“Next year a recipient will receive it for, what we’re still determining as, their whole first year free or it will be money towards their education.

 We told Omega Psi Phi what we wanted as our senior gift and they decided to put on a ball to help raise the money to go towards it to help us get the money before graduation.”

The Dennis Hayle Scholarship Ball is the first official event for Senior Week, which has been dubbed Dennis Hayle Week by the Senior Class in his honor.

The Ball will take place in the Memorial Student Union at 7 p.m. on April 27. The dress code is formal, but the main focus is raising money toward the scholarship. There will also be a Senior Night on Tuesday, and a Fashion Show on Thursday Night at the Carolina Theater. For the entire week organizations around campus are giving donations. 

The quickest way for the Mu Psi Chapter to gain revenue toward the scholarship was through stepshows. Hayle’s “bruh’s” competed in a seven week, five cities tour doing step shows and won all but one. 

According to members of Mu Psi, chapters up and down the east coast are sending money toward the scholarship. Other chapter’s have been throwing parties and giving portions of the proceeds or all of the proceeds to Mu Psi for the scholarship. 

The Greek organizations on the campus of A&T have been equally supportive of the cause. 

“There have been different events that have gone on campus as well,” said Anthony Stevens, junior international affairs and business management double major and member of the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  

“Chapters like the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma and the Alpha Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha have donated those funds to the scholarship.  

“So, from a student standpoint I’m very proud and, actually extremely humbled, to see the determination the students have had to help us raise the money for the scholarship.” 

 “Dennis use to always say, ‘there’s nothing better than helping your community,'” said Wheeler. “That’s what he loved to do. He loved to help people. He loved to be their need. “And if we can help take the burden off of someone, or help a single-parent help their child through college, that’s all Dennis wanted to do.”  

  • Malcolm S. Eustache