Lemuel Hinton and Barbara Beard-Hinton, both members of the class of 1975, are endowing a $25,000 scholarship.

Barbara Beard-Hinton ’75, an agricultural economics major in the N.C. A&T School of Agriculture, may not have known when she met Lemuel Hinton ’75 that they would one day marry, have successful careers and found a scholarship for students in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences or the Deese College of Business and Economics.

But that’s just what the two have done.

“We wanted to give back, and we believe that we have a moral obligation to assist students,” Beard-Hinton said. “We benefitted from financial assistance while we were in college, and without it, neither of us could have gone to college. We’ve been giving all along, so we thought, ‘Why not endow a scholarship?’”

The Barbara A. Beard-Hinton and Lemuel W. Hinton Endowed Scholarship is for undergraduate students of any major in the CAES, or an economics major in the Deese College of Business and Economics, who maintains a 2.5 GPA. The first beneficiaries of the endowed scholarship will be chosen in 2025.  

Since their graduation in 1975, the Hintons have witnessed the university’s evolution.

“Campus was a much smaller place back then,” Beard-Hinton said. “Most students lived on campus. There were no cell phones, no air conditioning, and few students had cars. While there wasn’t much to do, everybody knew everybody.”

Beard-Hinton lived in Cooper Hall. Hinton, an economics major, lived across the street in Scott Hall. They may have met in the crosswalk, he says. Or, they may have met the semester he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and visited the girls’ dorms. Either way, the Hintons became a couple, and have remained a team ever since.

Both Hintons received scholarships. Beard-Hinton received a federal Model Cities scholarship after graduating from Saul High School of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences in Philadelphia and received another her senior year from A&T. Hinton, a North Carolina native, received a Presidential Scholarship from A&T.

Beard-Hinton went on to spend 39 years with the USDA, most recently as assistant state director for rural development. Hinton earned a law degree from Cornell University in New York before returning to North Carolina to practice law for 40 years. The couple, now retired, live in Wake Forest.

Last year, the Hintons had planned to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with a party, requesting attendees make a donation to benefit the endowed scholarship in lieu of gifts. Thanks to COVID, the party didn’t happen, but the Hintons’ plan to grow the scholarship fund beyond its requirements will continue.

“We’ll get to have our friends donate eventually,” Hinton said. “We plan to keep on giving too, even after the scholarship is fully funded. N.C. A&T is our school, and it’s what we love to do.”

For more information or to make a gift to the CAES, contact P. Kevin Williamson in the Office of Advancement at pkwilliamson@ncat.edu