David smiles sitting next to his dog at a restaurant outside.

David von Storch ’80

Written by Cate Miller ’25, Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team

When Morehead-Cain asked David von Storch ’80 to serve as a mentor, he gave an immediate and enthusiastic “yes.” David had never participated in a mentoring program and didn’t quite know what to expect, but he wanted to “contribute to the next generation of scholars,” he said.

“Mentoring became a meaningful way for me to give back to the Foundation, which has given me so many opportunities and connections I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” David said. The alumnus is the CEO and founder of Urban Adventures Companies, Inc., in Washington, D.C.

The Morehead-Cain Mentoring Program paired David with Hunter Vaughan ’24, a double major in business administration and public policy at Carolina. The scholar said he was interested in signing up to gain wisdom and advice for what comes next after college.

“It’s been great to hear about David’s career journey, the topics he’s passionate about, and connect lessons from his entrepreneurial journey,” said Hunter, an incoming business analyst at McKinsey & Company in D.C. Outside of planning for post-graduation, the two have talked about graduate school, fitness, and ways to optimize the last few months on campus.

“I’m also interested in what it takes to start a business, and he has deep experience in that area,” Hunter said.

The pair have discussed ideas behind successful ventures and the logistics of building a startup. Other common themes have been preparing for pivots and failure, according to David.

“I’ve told Hunter that if you can get your hands around what failure looks like during your endeavors, you’ll be okay because experiencing failure frees you up to succeed,” the mentor said.

David has encouraged Hunter to be comfortable with not knowing what his career trajectory will look like, and to prioritize fostering a “trustworthy support system” of people you can rely on.

“It’s normal to not know your passion, calling, or your ‘why’ when you’re twenty-one years old. For me, it took until my mid-forties to look around and feel like this is where I belong professionally,” the entrepreneur said.

He said pouring into a scholar has been an affirming experience, particularly given the shared affinities for the Program and University.

“For alumni considering mentoring: you should realize that you’re a part of a very special group of people, you have skills and experience to share, and there’s value in all of that,” he said. “Why not embrace and share that with the next generation?”

This is the second edition of my three-part series about Morehead-Cain Mentors based in Washington, D.C. For the final edition, I spoke with Andrea Stumpf ’84.

Connect with a mentor

The Morehead-Cain Mentoring Program is designed to leverage the power of the Morehead-Cain network by cultivating connections between scholars and alumni, and providing structure and support to these relationships so they can develop based on shared values and interests. All rising juniors and seniors are eligible to participate in the one-year program.

Learn more about the program from Morehead-Cain Mentor Andrea Stumpf ’84.

About the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team

The Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team is an extracurricular program and internship run by the Foundation’s marketing and communications team. Scholars of all class years collaborate to produce multimedia content for social media (Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and X), the Catalyze podcast, email newsletters, and the website (www.moreheadcain.org). The team’s audience comprises more than 3,400 scholars and alumni.

The Scholar Media Team is led by Sarah O’Carroll, the content manager for Morehead-Cain. Participation is a semester-long commitment.