Generational leadership is a phenomenon I have had the privilege of observing firsthand over the last 27 years of serving at the High Point Community Foundation. This perspective has given me a sense of how throughout our city’s history, God has raised up leaders who drive transformative change. I have learned to never underestimate the power a leader with vision, commitment, and resources who can take our community to the next level. I worked with our post-WWII leadership who built the textile and furniture industries and gave back generously to our town.  Jim and Jesse Millis, Marsha and Jack Slane, Charles and David Hayworth, and Bill Fenn understood their wealth had been created in High Point and believed it was their obligation to invest back into the town they called home.

While the legacy of our early benefactors will continue to impact High Point, we see a new generation of philanthropic leadership stepping up who are changing our city dramatically. They come from new industries such as transportation, higher education, and insurance and they bring a keen business perspective, a love for their community and a vision for change.

We have the Congdon family who built one of the world’s premiere transportation company, Old Dominion Freight Line and their philanthropy has brought us Congdon Yards, the promise of a desperately needed new premium hotel, an MLS/Next Pro soccer club and the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation that is strategically investing in our local nonprofits.  They have approached giving with the same humility and calculated businesslike approach that reinvented the transportation industry and they are now doing the same for High Point.

Dr. Nido Qubein was a young immigrant student attending High Point College who immediately recognized America was a land of amazing opportunity. His relentless work ethic, sharp business mind and unparalleled vision has changed higher education forever. He has taken HPU to national prominence; served as a catalyst for the new Rockers Stadium, built the immensely popular Nido and Mariana Qubein Children’s Museum and he and Mariana have been instrumental with their Donor Advised Fund, The Nido and Mariana Qubein Family Fund in supporting so many local projects and nonprofits that have forever changed High Point.

Then there is Doug Witcher, a fellow HPC alumnus, who revolutionized the insurance industry through his innovative company, Smart Choice. Over the years through his Douglas S. Witcher Family Foundation, he has become one of HPU’s most prolific givers and a generous benefactor of local causes including the United Way of Greater HP, CIS and most recently TAG. He and his sons will continue to impact and touch lives in High Point for many years to come.

We are blessed to have this new generation of community champions, as High Point will not continue to grow and thrive without them and others in our community who also have the resources to do likewise. I believe those who have prospered here have an obligation to give back, provide leadership and resources to help High Point reach its fullest potential. My prayer for High Point is that God will continue to inspire, direct, and teach all of us that in the end, all we really get to keep is that which we have given away.  For Good, For High Point, Forever…