The global food service giant Sodexo is investing $1 million toward construction of a new multi-million dollar facility that will house UNC Pembroke’s School of Business.
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings made the announcement this week. The money will be used to establish an eatery inside the new building.
“As a world leader in its industry, Sodexo knows how to spot a good opportunity,” Cummings said.
“We are pleased they recognize the value of investing in UNC Pembroke and our School of Business and appreciate their continued partnership.”
Sodexo’s announcement comes on the heels of the university receiving $7 million for the School of Business from UNCP Trustee Jim Thomas and his wife, Sally – the largest gift in university history – $4 million of which will go toward construction of the new building.
The university plans to construct a $36 million state-of-the-art facility. Sodexo’s investment will be added to the $23 million UNCP received from the Connect NC Bond, $2 million in Golden LEAF funds, and the recent gift from Jim and Sally Thomas.
Golden LEAF and $4 million of the Thomases’ gift require the university to raise an equal amount to match the funds.
The facility will feature a number of innovative spaces designed to foster 21st century problem-solving. It will include a career center, a fully-equipped auditorium, a video conference room, computer lab, trading room, collaborative lounges and study spaces, and a multi-media resource room.
The School of Business is currently housed in the Business Administration building, which was built in 1969 and one of the oldest classroom buildings on campus.
The new facility will play a key role in the economic development of this region, combined with the efforts of the Entrepreneurship Incubator, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship.
Sodexo’s investment will offer new dining options for students in the building, a concept similar to the dining court currently in the Weinstein Health Sciences Building. Weinstein houses Papa John’s and Einstein Bros Bagels.
“We are so excited to be partners in showcasing the university and our students. Fueling our students as they work towards their professional careers and helping the campus strategically grow is an exciting opportunity for us, said Darcy Woodward, District Manager for Sodexo.
“We believe this to be an investment in all of our futures, and are thankful for the partnership and support that the university continually shows to the campus, community and Sodexo.”
Sodexo manages six dining locations on the UNCP campus and employs 167 people in the area. Over the years, Sodexo has made significant investments in campus facilities, including $1 million for the dining hall renovation in 2012.
Sodexo is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations with 420,000 employees. They are present on 34,000 sites in 80 countries.