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Carolina received a $10-million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation to provide support for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Horizons, the track and field program, and the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program.

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 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. 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.

Additional quotes from university leaders:

“Thank you to the Pope Foundation for this generous gift, which will allow us to recruit the best and brightest oncologists and cancer researchers to Chapel Hill where they will join our outstanding researchers in the development of new cancer therapies. The impact of this work will be felt by our patients here in Chapel Hill, and cancer patients around the world.” – Dr. William L. Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill

“I am proud of this program for its interdisciplinary approach to learning and its emphasis on helping students develop transferable skills that prepare them for a wide variety of careers.” – Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

“Carolina has a long history of excellence in track and field, and this generous gift from the Pope Foundation will add to that tradition. It will enable us to recruit the very best student-athletes in the sport, and it will help us continue to compete at the highest level.” – Bubba Cunningham, UNC-Chapel Hill director of athletics

“This generous gift will provide the needed systematic outcome and cost effectiveness data to unlock the potential for the Horizons model to help women and children in North Carolina and across the country.” – Dr. Hendrée Jones, UNC Horizons executive director and professor of obstetrics and gynecology

About the John William Pope Foundation

Founded in 1986 and located in Raleigh, the Pope Foundation makes grants to advance individual freedom, personal responsibility and encourage opportunity for all North Carolinians. The Pope Foundation’s lifetime giving totals more than $145 million directed to over 400 nonprofits. The Pope Foundation receives its support from the Pope family, owner and operator of the Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers, Inc.

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

University Communications Contact: Carly Swain, (919) 445-8555,