Carolina receives $10 million commitment from the Pope Foundation

The donation will provide support for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Horizons, the track and field program, and the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program.

Carolina receives $10 million commitment from the Pope Foundation click to enlarge The John William Pope Foundation announced a $10 million commitment to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Johnny Andrews / UNC-Chapel Hill)

Today, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a $10 million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation to support a combination of core areas where Carolina excels: cancer research, multidisciplinary and innovative thinking, excellence in sport, and being of and serving the state’s citizens.

The gift supports For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history. On Oct. 6, 2017, Carolina launched the second largest fundraiser for a public university in the nation. With a goal of $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022, the Campaign for Carolina is inspired by the Blueprint for Next, the University’s overall strategic plan built on two core strategies: “of the public, for the public,” and “innovation made fundamental.”

“I am so grateful for this wonderful gift from the Pope Foundation,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “They are providing much-needed support in critical areas from growing educational programs to fighting disease to supporting our student-athletes. Taken together, this gift will touch our students and faculty, promoting their success, leadership and impact in North Carolina and beyond.”

“The foundation supports the challenge to give back to UNC’s ‘strategic triad’ of teaching, research and public service,” said Art Pope, Pope Foundation chairman and a Carolina alumnus. “When Chapel Hill and other state institutions of higher education succeed at their core missions, we all succeed. My family and I are honored to contribute to that success — to achieve the Lux et Libertas, the ‘Light and Liberty,’ that graces the University’s seal. We encourage other North Carolinians to do the same.”

The commitment announced today will provide:

•    $5 million to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish the John William Pope “Tomorrow’s Best Hope” Endowed Fellowship Fund. The fund will generate nearly $250,000 each year for competitively awarded fellowships to recruit, educate and train future oncologists and cancer researchers to reduce cancer’s burden in the state and beyond. UNC Lineberger is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S., and the only public comprehensive cancer center in North Carolina.

•    $3.75 million to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Program in the College of Arts & Sciences to support hiring two new faculty positions and two visiting assistant professorships. The gift will also fund a lecture series to bring prominent speakers to campus to discuss public issues from a philosophical, political and economic perspective. The funds will help the college’s efforts to elevate one of the most popular and fastest-growing academic minors to a major. The PPE Program develops students’ analytical skills to see issues from the perspective of all three of the core disciplines.

•    $1 million to track-and-field scholarships in the Department of Athletics to create two in-state scholarships, one male and one female. It will be the program’s 16th scholarship in men’s track and field and 14th scholarship in women’s track and field. Carolina’s track-and-field program has won 37 ACC team championships and 30 NCAA event championships.

•    $250,000 to the UNC Horizons Program to conduct a follow-up study with up to 125 women and their children enrolled in the program. The data from that study will help other states and countries model their programs helping women and children break the cycle of addiction and poverty. The funds will also eliminate a barrier to successful completion of the Horizons program by ensuring child care services for women undergoing treatment. UNC Horizons provides an outreach service to the state to treat pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. In 2016-17, the program enrolled 266 women, with 77 percent employed by the time they graduated.

With this latest commitment, the Pope Foundation and family members have more than doubled their lifetime giving to Carolina. Past gifts include a $1.3 million gift in 2014 to fund cancer research and treatment and a $2 million gift in 2006 for Carolina athletics’ football program and other areas on campus.