For the first time in history, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke received more than $5 million in gifts in a year, according to an announcement from the Office for Advancement.
The gifts came in all sizes from approximately 2,500 alumni and friends of the University during the 2007-08 fiscal year, including several substantial contributions that endowed scholarships and professorships and improved the quality of academic, athletic and other campus programs.
Donors gave more than $5.05 million in gifts, setting a fundraising record for the University. The previous high was $4.2 million in 2005-06.
Programs that supported students, faculty and community outreach stood out during the year, said Sandy Watherkotte, vice chancellor for Advancement.
“First, let me say this was an exciting year for University giving thanks to our alumni and friends,” Waterkotte said. “Our endowment, which supports student scholarship is at an all-time high and is nearly three times what we started with at the start of the decade.
“Five endowed professorships have been created that will forever enhance scholarship and instruction at the University,” she continued. “Athletic programs have also benefited.”
In three years, UNCP has taken in more than $13 million in gifts.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors thanked donors large and small.
“The rising support of our University is sincerely appreciated,” Chancellor Meadors said. “We celebrate our contributors who make large or small gifts because we value all of our friends.
“The mark of a strong university may be measured by the support of its friends,” he continued. “We will do everything we can to earn the continued support of our friends.”
Giving highlights over three years include:
- The Esther G. Maynor estate contributed the largest gift in University history. The gift supports the Maynor Honors College, which nurtures some of UNCP’s top undergraduate scholars.
- Jim Thomas, a Los Angeles based real estate developer and Pembroke native, established the Thomas Family Entrepreneurial Center and the Thomas Family Distinguished Professorship of Entrepreneurship. The center’s mission is to stimulate economic development through support of entrepreneurship.
- The family of E. Marvin Johnson, a large agribusiness enterprise headquartered in Rose Hill, N.C., pledge $1 million. UNCP’s football stadium will be dedicated this fall to honor Johnson’s wife, the late Grace P. Johnson.
- A $500,000 pledge from BB&T established an Endowed Professorship in the Philosophical Foundations of Free Enterprise in the School of Business.
- A $250,000 gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation will be matched by a North Carolina General Assembly fund to establish the Joseph B. Oxendine Distinguished Professorship in the School of Education. The gift is part of a larger giving program from UNC President Emeritus Spangler and honors UNCP Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Oxendine.
- Robert L. and Anne S. Zucker of Raleigh, N.C., established the $250,000 endowment as part of a charitable trust to perpetually fund a faculty position in the Nursing Department.
- Healthkeeperz, a Pembroke, N.C., comprehensive home health-care company owned by the Howard Brooks family, pledged $250,000 to establish the Brenda B. Brooks Distinguished Endowed Professorship in Nursing.
The endowed professorships will raise the total to seven at UNCP, and an drive to make it eight was announced in American Indian Studies was announced to launch the 2008-09 giving year. Dr. Robin Cummings, chair of the UNCP Foundation, Inc. and a retired cardiothoracic surgeon from Pinehurst, N.C., is leading this effort.
“The time is right to honor and celebrate the legacy of the men and women who built this University more than 100 years ago,” Dr. Cummings said. “A distinguished professorship in American Indian Studies speaks to the history of the University and its future.”
“I am very optimistic about this project, and I am very thankful for the support the University has received from our community over the past three years,” he concluded.