NC State chancellor Randy Woodson announced Friday, Dec. 17, that the university has received the largest gift in its history – $40 million – from Lonnie and Carol Johnson Poole.
The substantial part of their contribution, $37 million, funds an endowment to support NC State’s College of Management, which is now named The Lonnie C. Poole Jr. College of Management. The endowment, Woodson said, will will support development of new programs, student scholarships and fellowships, faculty research and other college development activities.
“With this transformational gift, it’s a new day for NC State,” he said. “Today, we send a signal to the rest of the state and to the country that NC State University is prepared to compete on the highest national levels.
“Donors like Lonnie and Carol Poole understand that this university can and will use their gifts to make a broad impact that is felt well beyond our campus.”
The Pooles’ gift includes $2.5 million to fund The Carol Johnson Poole Club House at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on NC State’s Centennial Campus. The Carol Johnson Poole Endowment for Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State will be funded with $500,000 from the gift.
Lonnie Poole is the founder of Raleigh-based Waste Industries USA, Inc. and a long-time friend and supporter of NC State, where he received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1959. He is a member and vice chairman of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina State University Foundation and also provided a naming gift for the university’s new golf course.
“This endowment will enable us to advance the college to a new era by expanding and complementing our focus on technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and globalization with a new, strong emphasis in the area of sustainability,” said Ira R. Weiss, dean of the Poole College of Management. “NC State has long been known for its work in sustainability. It’s time to build the business case for sustainability and its return on investment.
“We need to educate future leaders to view it as a complement to innovation and entrepreneurship – and to show that sustainability is not only socially responsible but also that it makes good business sense,” he said. “Technology will play a huge role in sustainability innovation, and we here at NC State and in Research Triangle Park are in a great place to adopt sustainability as a core value.
“The endowment also will allow us to compete for new faculty and to retain current faculty through recognition of leadership and seed funding for research.”
The gift and the college’s name change were officially announced Friday, Dec. 17, in the Nelson Hall Auditorium. Attendance was open to university officials, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the college and university.