UNC Charlotte unveiled a $200 million campaign Thursday aimed at boosting the school’s future through new facilities, renovating existing structures and creating scholarship endowments.
The campaign has already passed the halfway point, having raised $115.4 million, including lead gifts from Karen Popp (Class of 1980) and Demond Martin (Class of 1997).
Their donation, which remains unspecified, prompted the school to announce Thursday that the University’s Student Union is being named the Karen A. Popp and Demond T. Martin Student Union.
University officials say the campaign, called “EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte,” is the largest in the school’s history. It comes at a time when UNC Charlotte is having a growing impact on the region’s economy.
“Now, UNC Charlotte is a leading urban research university with national and global scope,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois.
“Our needs have changed as much as our campus. We have ambitious goals, but we’ve accomplished great things before ... This campaign undoubtedly will bring exponential returns, serving the interests of students ... as well as many industries and residents of the region,” he said.
UNC Charlotte has a fall 2016 enrollment of more than 28,700 students, registered in programs that the school says are internationally competitive.
The campaign announcement was a highlight of a weeklong Founders Celebration to commemorate the 70th year of the founding of UNC Charlotte. It was originally known as the Charlotte Center and was one of 14 evening college centers created across the state to serve returning World War II veterans.
University alumnus Gene Johnson (’73) is the campaign chair. Tim Belk is an honorary co-chair, along with Family Dollar stores founder Leon Levine and his wife, Sandra Levine.
Johnson said the campaign represents a move toward “shifting the financial burden away from students.”