A $1-million pledge by the Rob and Susan Culp family of High Point in support of bringing Say Yes to Education to Guilford County takes initial fundraising efforts to the $20-million mark.

The High Point Community Foundation announced the Culps’ commitment – the fourth significant Say Yes pledge to originate in High Point. All three generations of the Culp family support local schools, where Iv, Graham and Lee Culp graduated. Susan Culp is chairman of the High Point Community Foundation’s Grants Committee and a member of the foundation’s Principals’ Fund for Student Needs. Rob Culp is chairman of Culp Inc. and has been a strong leader and advocate for the business community as an active member of the High Point Partners.

Support for Guilford’s county-wide efforts to bring Say Yes here has been very strong in High Point, as evidenced by an unprecedented string of million-dollar gifts there. This most recent pledge comes from a family that has long been known for its generosity to the community.

“We continue to advocate for our public school system where our children received an excellent education,” Susan Culp said. “We love that Say Yes provides every student with the incentive and support to work hard and follow their dreams. Each student will have the opportunity to attend a two- or four-year secondary school. Our community will benefit by having a more educated workforce that will attract new businesses to High Point as well as improving our tax base.  We believe it is the single most important initiative to revitalize High Point.

All pledges are contingent on Say Yes to Education officially selecting Guilford County as the nation’s next Say Yes community. In January, Say Yes notified Guilford that it is the leading candidate for this designation. To be officially selected, Guilford County must achieve several remaining goals – one being fundraising. Current fundraising efforts are working toward achieving an initial $28-million goal. Say Yes is aiming to make a decision by this fall.

“Rob and Susan have been strong advocates and committed leaders in our local public schools who have consistently shown how important it is for the entire community to support our local school with their time, talents and resources,” said Paul Lessard, president of the High Point Community Foundation. “The Rob and Susan Culp family gift is a real statement of not only their financial support but a clear vote of confidence in the Say Yes initiative. Our Community Foundation is so grateful for this family who touches so many lives in High Point.”

Since early 2014, when area leaders began exploring a potential partnership between Say Yes and Guilford, everyone has stressed that not only would Say Yes serve all corners of the county, but that the effort to secure the opportunity would be a community-wide endeavor, as well.

An investment in Say Yes is not only an investment in our children’s future but also in the future of our community as a whole. I am grateful to Rob and Susan Culp for their tremendous commitment to Guilford’s efforts to become the next Say Yes community, for their continued and unwavering support of our public schools and for believing in our students’ ability to achieve excellence,” stated Maurice “Mo” Green, Superintendent of Guilford County Schools.

In early 2014, Guilford County Schools and the Guilford Education Alliance – with the support and assistance of The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the High Point Community Foundation – launched an exploration of a potential partnership with Say Yes to Education.

Founded in 1987, Say Yes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that organizes and galvanizes communities around the goal of every student in the public school system graduating high school, and then helps those students access, afford and complete a college or other post-secondary education. A key component of a Say Yes partnership focuses on how a community addresses the social, emotional and financial barriers that prevent students from achieving this goal.

“The Culp family has long been champions for High Point and this gift certainly confirms their belief in the power of public education and their sincere desire to help our community reach its fullest potential,” said David S. Miller, High Point community leader and philanthropist. “We can’t thank the Culp family enough for their long term commitment to our local public schools and Say Yes.”