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Bill and Bonnie Peterson

Endowed Scholarship Awarded


to Junior Interior


Design Major


High Point University junior Helen de Weissenbruch, has been awarded the Bill and Bonnie Peterson Endowed Scholarship for the second consecutive year. 


“I am beyond grateful to be a recipient of this scholarship,” said de Weissenbruch. “I’d like to thank the friends, family and colleagues of Bill and Bonnie Peterson for funding this scholarship and contributing to my education. I am deeply appreciative of their support.” 


The Bill and Bonnie Peterson Endowed Scholarship was first established in 2001 in memory of Bill Peterson after his passing. The scholarship was funded by his friends, family and colleagues in remembrance of his contributions to journalism in the home furnishings industry. After Bonnie Peterson’s passing in 2014, the scholarship was officially renamed from the Wilbert “Bill” Peterson Scholarship to the Bill and Bonnie Peterson Endowed Scholarship Fund. 


Both Bill and Bonnie Peterson had successful careers in journalism and later in their lives made major contributions to journalism in the home furnishings industry, especially in High Point, North Carolina. Before the couple moved to High Point, Bonnie and Bill covered major journalism events such as the Apollo 11 expedition in 1969, as well as the Mercury Astronaut and Gemini launches. Once in North Carolina, Bill began as a staff writer for Home Furnishings Daily. Soon after, he and Steve Pond founded the business newspaper, Furniture Today, turning Bill and Steve into two of the most influential people in the home furnishings industry. Meanwhile, Bonnie started her own marketing communications business in High Point, which provided advertising and PR copy, decorating/image booklets and High Point Market press kits for an impressive client list that included some of the leading furniture manufacturers. In addition to her other roles, Bonnie became the editor for Outlook, an award-wining magazine for the casual furniture industry. 


Due to their obvious talent and passion for the home furnishings industry, the Petersons won many awards for home furnishings-related journalism during their lifetimes. In order to support students who possess the same passion as the Petersons, students majoring in either interior design or visual merchandising design are eligible to receive the Bill and Bonnie Peterson Endowed Scholarship. 


The 2021-2022 recipient of the Bill and Bonnie Peterson Endowed Scholarship, Helen de Weissenbruch, was a junior interior design major with a minor in entrepreneurship. Originally from Ohain, Belgium, she was excited to attend HPU after searching for a university in the United States that had both an established interior design program and an equestrian team. Once at HPU, she experienced the campus and met the faculty and staff in the David R. Hayworth School of Arts and Design. That’s when she knew that this would be where she called home for the next four years. For de Weissenbruch, interior design feels like it is in her nature as both her grandmothers were interior designers. In addition to feeling connected to her family through her chosen profession, she enjoys creating spaces for people that make them feel comfortable and at home. De Weissenbruch is an active member of the club equestrian team and is currently the head of the team’s apparel committee. Though she grew up show jumping from the age of three, she competes through IHSA, the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, at HPU and participates in hunter jumper and equitation classes. After graduation, de Weissenbruch plans to join a design firm while she builds her personal brand. Once she has grown her brand and experience, de Weissenbruch wants to establish her own business in real estate investment with a focus on home furnishings and design. 

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