Murphy Scholarship Enters a New Phase

Launched in 2011, the Murphy Scholarship will this year honor its fourth cohort of scholarship recipients. This milestone also coincides with the announcement of a dynamic new web-based initiative related to the scholarship – the Murphy Challenge.

Past fundraising efforts have focused on events and reaching out to individuals, and those efforts have yielded over $38,000 in donations. Past events included a reunion basketball game, Homecoming football game alumni reunions, the dedication of the Murphy Building, a school-wide dance-a-thon event called Pridefest, and most recently, a BBQ sale.

murphy bldg ded pic used 2

Attendees applaud at the unveiling of the Murphy Building.

“We’ve learned a lot from our past fundraising events and look forward to applying those lessons to future events,” remarked Murphy Scholarship Committee Chair, Mary Propes. Future events include assisting alumni planning reunions.  For example, the Class of 2005 will be getting together on October 3rd, 2015, and they plan for a portion of the proceeds from their reunion to go to the Murphy Scholarship. The Class of 2014 informally raised over $400 at their last get-together.

Park Denning, alum of the Class of 2005, played a major role in launching the new web-based effort. He contracted with developers of the new website and did the day-to-day oversight of its development.  Park was in a unique position to do so as he was a student of Leesville’s current principal, AJ Muttillo, Murphy Committee Vice Chair, Angela Scioli, and Chair, Mary Propes.   Richard Murphy was his principal through his junior year in 2004.  Park’s family demonstrated an interest in, and commitment to, the success of the scholarship from its founding, and his current efforts are an extension of that investment.  “Those of us who attended Leesville Road High School were all direct benefactors of the vision Richard Murphy established in the school from its founding.  To this day it has an excellent reputation for academics, athletics, and the arts.  Students are presented with boundless opportunities to challenge themselves and develop the skills they need to be leaders and innovators.  This scholarship allows us to shine a light on students who embody that excellence and to provide encouragement to young people to be the best they can be.  Through accepting the challenge and donating $10 a month to the endowment, alumni demonstrate their gratitude for the network of people who cared about them and guided them during the formative years of their adolescence.  I hope all alumni will take the Murphy Challenge and help maintain Leesville’s reputation as one of the premier high schools in the state and nation.”

Park Denning - Class of '05

Park Denning – Class of ’05

Park noted that there are only a few Wake County high schools that have endowed scholarships, Broughton and Enloe among them.

It is the hope of the Murphy Scholarship Committee that this next phase of development will ensure the continued growth and expansion of the scholarship. According to Angie Scioli,  “Since the founding of the endowment, it has always been our intention to make this scholarship a fixture in the culture of Leesville Road High School and to fund it as generously as possible to the benefit of deserving students.  We hope this initiative will allow us to reach the $100,000 mark and begin the conversation of expanding the number of scholarships given or increasing the amount of the financial awards.  We know college is not getting and less expensive for our hardest-working and most promising  students.”


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