UNCSA Peter and the Starcatcher (copy)

UNC School of the Arts drama undergraduate student Everett Graham (center) and other UNCSA students rehearse a scene of "Peter and the Starcatcher" in 2018.

WINSTON-SALEM — UNC School of the Arts will use a new multi-million gift to award more of its most prestigious college scholarships.

The Winston-Salem arts school announced Wednesday that the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill has pledged $5 million to the school to increase the number of Kenan Excellence Scholarships to 20.

The school had 12 Kenan scholars enrolled during the 2018-19 school year. Four of those grants went to top first-year students who enrolled at UNCSA last fall. Students win the scholarships based on their high school records, leadership potential and artistic ability.

The Kenan scholarships cover in-state tuition, fees, room and board for four years of undergraduate study. Each scholarship is valued at roughly $18,000 annually. 

In a news release, the school said the Kenan Trust gift recognizes the "transformative work" of Chancellor Lindsay Bierman, who's leaving the school July 31 after five years to become CEO of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina.

The Kenan Trust established these top UNCSA grants in 2005 and contributed another $6 million six years later to set up an endowment for the scholarship program.

UNCSA said it will count its gift toward its ongoing fundraising campaign, which raised nearly $50 million in its first three years.

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Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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