N.C. A&T Alumnus Code Contributes $500K to National Alumni Scholarship Program

By Staff Report / 06/10/2020 Alumni

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 10, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumnus Merl F. Code ’70 contributed $500,000 to the university’s National Alumni Scholarship Program, university leaders announced.Merl Code

The program provides an opportunity annually for incoming freshmen to receive full financial assistance including tuition, room and board, and books.

The contribution, which commemorates Code’s 50th class reunion, came about as a result of his more than 20 years of service as a member of the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

“It was important for me to give back to the foundation of where it all began for me as a professional,” said Code, who received his B.S. in mathematics with honors from N.C. A&T.

Coach Hornsby Howell Sr. recruited Code, an all-state  quarterback in his hometown of Seneca, South Carolina, to play football at A&T. Upon graduation, Code was drafted to play professional football in the Canadian Football League and later played in the World Football League.

After his football career, Code enrolled in the University of South Carolina Law School program and went on to become the first African American elected president of the South Carolina Law School Student Body. He graduated in 1979 and opened two law offices in Seneca and Greenville, South Carolina, after passing the bar exam.

In 1983, Code was appointed as an associate municipal court judge in Greenville, making him the first African American to serve in this role. He retired from that judgeship in 2019.

For more than 30 years, Code served on more than 30 boards and was instrumental in advocating for other organizations to receive philanthropic support. He was the first African American to become chairman of the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce, serve as chairman of the Board of Governors for the University Center of Greenville and chair the Greenville County United Way Board of Directors.

In 1996, Code received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, from former Gov. David Beasley. Code also was inducted into the North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame in 1999.

“Being a student at A&T was the best time of my life. I was challenged in my intellect, nurtured by the environment, and I was taught how to compete on every level,” he said. “I chose the right institution for my education, and I was blessed to meet my wife, Denise Galloway Code ’73, at A&T during my senior year and her freshman year.”

Code’s significant gift helps to continue the progress of the ongoing Campaign for North Carolina A&T, which seeks to generate more than $100 million by Dec. 31. The Division of University Advancement welcomes inquiries from all who are interesting in contributing to the campaign.

Media Contact Information: ucomm@ncat.edu