PEMBROKE, NC (WBTW) – The largest gift in the history of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will help the university break ground on its new School of Business.
According to a press release, a $7 million gift from UNCP Board of Trustee member Jim Thomas and his wife, Sally, will transform the campus and have a lasting impact on generations of executives and entrepreneurs.
Sally Thomas has also gifted $110,000 to the university’s CARE Resource Center—an on-campus resource for students in need of food, clothing and housing assistance.
The gift will go toward the construction of a $36 million facility which will feature a number of innovative spaces designed to foster 21st century problem-solving.
In the press release, Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said he is elated to announce the historic gift.
“Jim Thomas is credited with transforming the skyline of downtown Los Angeles as a world-renowned real estate developer,” Cummings said. “Now, his and Sally’s historic gift to the UNCP School of Business, sets the stage for a transformation of his hometown of Pembroke and the surrounding region.
The pledge agreement is made up of both current and deferred gifts totaling $7 million. A deferred gift of $3 million for the establishment of a fund to support the maintenance of the building and promote the work of the School of Business will come from the Thomases’ estate, according to the release. The balance of $4 million is a challenge gift. To receive the latter gift, the university is required to raise an additional $4 million in funding to match the gift.
“We will be asking foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals to help us make this project a reality for our students. I can think of no better way to invest in our region than making an impact on education and training available to generations of students,” said Cummings in the release.
This gift, and the required match, will be added to the $23 million UNCP received from the Connect NC Bond and the $2 million in Golden LEAF funds, moving UNCP closer to the $36 million needed for construction.
The ultimate goal of the $7 million gift, according to Thomas, is to improve the lives of the citizens of Robeson County.