Lindsay Hollandsworth, Communications Director
Mr. John William Pope got his first taste of the variety-retail business as a youngster growing up in Depression-era Fuquay Springs, North Carolina, where he worked the cash register in his father’s five and dime store. It was a humble beginning for a man who, one day, would grow the business into Variety Wholesalers Inc.— a business legacy that continues to flourish to this day.
Joyce W. Pope was a founding board member of the Pope Foundation. She served as President from 1986 to 1992. Joy served as a vital support to her husband John as he grew Variety Wholesalers Inc. from five stores into one of the largest retailing chains in the southeast. Through the foundation, she established an endowment for the Raleigh Fine Arts Society. She also created a scholarship fund at Performance Edge, and was instrumental in supporting the North Carolina Symphony and Carolina Ballet.
John William Pope Jr., son of John William and Joyce W. Pope, lives on in the memory of his loved ones and in the philanthropic work of the Pope Foundation. John Jr. was part of the Pope family business, Variety Wholesalers Inc., from the time that he graduated from Campbell College (now Campbell University) in 1975. He also was co-founder of the Pope Foundation in 1986. A substantial amount of the Foundation’s resources are due to John Jr.’s generosity. Campbell University chose to honor his memory by naming its Convocation Center after him.