News & Insights

Check back for regular updates on the Pope Foundation, our grantees, and the broader philanthropic community.

January 15, 2015

The Fisherman’s Friend

Categories: In The News, Philanthropy Updates

In 2009, John J. Miller wrote a piece for National Review about John William Pope Foundation Chairman Art Pope.  At the time, Pope was also the president of the foundation, a family endeavor he helped to start.  The article takes an in-depth look at Art Pope's background and giving philosophy. NATIONAL REVIEW December 21, 2009 THE FISHERMAN’S FRIEND A look at Art Pope’s distinctive, policy-centered brand of philanthropy JOHN J. MILLER Earlier this year, a well-heeled banker contacted North Carolina businessman Art Pope and offered to invest and manage the funds of the John William Pope Foundation. Pope explained his philanthropy: In addition to supporting food banks and hospice care, the foundation donated millions of dollars to right-of-center public-policy organizations. “[The banker] looked at me and very nicely, politely said, ‘Well, Art, most of our clients are engaged in traditional charity to help people. We also have some clients who get involved in conservative causes.’” That struck Pope as a strange distinction, which is why he told the story on November 3, at the State Policy Network’s annual conference, in Asheville, N.C. A few minutes earlier, he had received the organization’s Thomas Roe Award, given to the individual who has done the most to advance the national movement of free-market, state-level think tanks — you know, organizations whose advocacy of low taxes, limited government, and individual freedom doesn’t help people. Among philanthropists who support the machinery of conservative public-policy making, Pope is a pioneer. His creative investments have shifted the political culture of North Carolina to the right. He hasn’t mimicked the strategy of wealthy liberals in Colorado, who have turned their state in recent elections from Republican red to a purplish blue. Yet his story reveals a few similarities and may serve as a model for beleaguered conservatives who don’t want merely to win the next election but also to create the conditions for long-term political success. The 53-year-old James Arthur “Art” Pope was born in Fayetteville, N.C., and grew up in Raleigh. His father — the namesake of the family foundation — was John William Pope, an entrepreneur who started Variety Wholesalers, which today owns and operates about 500 retail-merchandise stores in the South. Art could have joined the family business at a young age, but he found himself pulled in a different direction. He majored in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and studied law at Duke. The most important part of his education took place outside the classroom. Pope attended a summer camp at Wake Forest that was run by the Cato Institute. He borrowed his father’s copies of Reason and read books by Friedrich Hayek and Ayn Rand. “I did this in my spare time because none of my teachers assigned them,” he says. After earning his law degree, he joined a law firm. Then he threw himself into politics, signing up for the gubernatorial campaign of Jim Martin in 1984. Martin was elected North Carolina’s governor, becoming only the second Republican to achieve this in the 20th century. Pope entered the administration as special counsel. He experienced almost immediate frustration: “The state had been Democratic for so long that everything was oriented toward Democratic priorities,” he says. “There was nowhere to look for good public-policy ideas.” Martin sent a delegation to Tennessee, where Republican Lamar Alexander (now a senator) was chief executive of a southern state. But Pope sensed the need for something else: an infrastructure of conservative organizations based in North Carolina. In 1986, Pope left government and started working at Variety Wholesalers. His father charged him with setting up the Pope Foundation. “He wanted to preserve and protect the free-enterprise system that had allowed the business to do well,” says Pope. It was a good assignment for Pope, who describes himself as a policy wonk at heart. Initially, he tried to persuade national conservative organizations to focus some of their attention on North Carolina. He also tried to work with existing center-left groups within the state. Neither approach paid off. Then, in the late 1980s, the Heritage Foundation introduced Pope to the emerging effort to establish free-market think tanks in state capitals. “That led to the birth of the John Locke Foundation,” he says. The John Locke Foundation opened its doors in 1990. The organization is named after the 17th-century English philosopher because of his little-known local connection: Although Locke never set foot in the New World, he helped write the constitution of colonial Carolina. The foundation’s first president was Marc Rotterman. For several years, the John Locke Foundation was small: It had a budget in the low six figures and a staff that could be counted on one hand. But it was also feisty, and began to attract attention. During the first year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, it issued a pair of papers on health care — one on Clinton’s plan, the other on health care in North Carolina. “Two months later, our tiny organization faced an IRS audit,” says Rotterman. “Hell of a coincidence, isn’t it?” The author of the second study was John Hood. As a UNC student in the 1980s, he and his twin brother had started the Carolina Critic, a conservative campus newspaper. “The Popes were looking for opportunities to give on campus,” says Hood. The Pope Foundation supported the Critic — and, perhaps more important, Art Pope forged what would become a long tie with Hood. When Rotterman left the John Locke Foundation in 1996, Hood took over. He remains there today as president and chairman. The foundation currently has a budget of $3.3 million and employs about 30 people. It is easily the most influential public-policy group in North Carolina and one of the most effective state-level think tanks in the country. Philanthropists who invest in the development of public policy are a rare breed — the kind whose unconventional giving confuses a lot of potential donors. Yet Pope sees it as an essential form of charity. “You’ve heard the old proverb that if you give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day, and if you teach him how to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime,” he says. “A lot of philanthropy is about giving fish, which is very important.” The Pope Foundation supports Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, and similar groups. “But these are short-term, direct measures that treat symptoms.” Teaching a person to fish involves addressing underlying causes through education — so the Pope Foundation provides grants to schools, the Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scouts. Even this isn’t enough, however. “You have to take it one step further,” says Pope. “Teaching a man to fish presupposes that you have a right to fish and a right to keep the fish you catch. It assumes that you can take your fish to market and sell it, and use the proceeds to buy clothes for your kids. Too many philanthropists don’t even consider that in a just and functioning society, you must have individual liberty with property rights, the rule of law, and limited constitutional government.” And that’s where donations to groups that defend free enterprise against the encroachments of government come in. The John Locke Foundation accepts more support from the Pope Foundation than does any other organization: nearly $2.4 million in the last fiscal year alone. But it is by no means the only recipient. There’s also the John William Pope Civitas Institute, which encourages grassroots activism ($1.5 million), the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, which litigates ($680,000), and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, which monitors colleges and universities ($479,000). Altogether, the Pope Foundation disbursed more than $6 million to North Carolina policy groups. Another $4 million went to national organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, educational programs, and traditional charities. That’s a lot of money, but less than perhaps meets the eye. Hood counts about a dozen right-of-center groups in North Carolina with a combined budget of $8.5 million. This compares with about 40 left-of-center organizations with budgets totaling $22 million. So the Pope Foundation and its beneficiaries are like a small-market club in Major League Baseball: They can compete against a team that has more cash, but winning takes strong leadership, hard work, and a lot of ingenuity. By creating a web of state-based organizations that promote free-market ideas in North Carolina, Pope has realized the vision he had as a young lawyer in Governor Martin’s office. “He understands the intersection of politics and policy better than most,” says Tracie Sharp, president of the State Policy Network. “That’s because of his personal experience.” In addition to working for a governor, Pope has tried his own hand at politics. He served four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives and was an unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor. Pope says he has no plan to run for anything in the future but won’t rule it out. He is currently busy overseeing Variety Wholesalers, a duty that became more demanding when his father died in 2006. On the surface, North Carolina does not appear to be in the midst of a conservative renaissance. It routinely elects Democrats to statewide office. Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature; Republicans never have led the senate in modern times and only briefly have they led the house. Last year, Barack Obama carried the Tar Heel State. “If you measure success by electing Republicans, then we haven’t been a success,” says Pope. But that’s not how he measures it. He can point to an array of policy victories. Earlier this year, when the state needed to make budget cuts, it turned to the John Locke Foundation for advice on where to trim. Pope-funded groups also played a role in defeating a bill that would have allowed cities to use tax dollars to fund political campaigns. In North Carolina, conservatives have a far greater role than the strength of the GOP would indicate. The most noticeable example of influence may be the Carolina Journal, a publication of the Locke Foundation. At a time when many newspapers are downsizing, especially in the area of investigative journalism, the work of executive editor Don Carrington and others has put former Democratic governor Mike Easley on the brink of a federal corruption indictment. The Carolina Journal has reported on other major figures, too. Five years ago, its articles helped lead to the prison sentence of Frank Ballance, a former Democratic congressman. “We try to convince politicians to stop wasting our money and stealing our freedom, but a more permanent solution may be to incarcerate them,” jokes Hood. Several other state think tanks are now trying to establish nonprofit journalism arms. Pope has tried to persuade philanthropists within North Carolina to support his endeavors, but with only mixed success. “The problem is that many of them can’t see the outcomes immediately,” he says. “This kind of philanthropy isn’t like giving money to a food bank, where you can count the number of people you feed. It isn’t like giving a donation to a candidate, where you can know a result on Election Day. We’re trying to make good public policy and stop bad public policy.” He mentions William Wilberforce, the British politician who fought to abolish the slave trade. “What he accomplished took decades,” says Pope. A generation into what may be his life’s great cause, Art Pope is willing to wait. - See more at: http://www.heymiller.com/2009/12/the-fishermans-friend/#sthash.MMZAOzKP.dpuf  

December 23, 2014

Pope Foundation Giving Featured in N&O Column

Categories: Humanitarian, In The News

In a December 23 News & Observer column, Barry Saunders writes about Art Pope and the John William Pope Foundation's diverse giving. We are always honored to support so many valuable organizations.  To learn more about our humanitarian giving, visit the "Our Grants" section of our website here: http://jwpf.org/grants/focus-areas/humanitarian/. The N&O story appears below and can be read online at: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/22/4423459/saunders-the-giving-side-of-art.html?sp=/99/102/110/117/197/. SAUNDERS: THE GIVING SIDE OF ART POPE BY BARRY SAUNDERS Ah, man. It would be the social event of the season – nay, of the millennium – but alas, it’ll never happen, cap’n. They wouldn’t even have to pay me to cover a wang dang doodle attended by people from all of the groups that get money from the J.W. Pope Foundation: just being there and seeing those in tuxes and tatters mingling would be payment a’plenty. Since 1986, the beau monde and thedemimonde – that’s the high-class swells who dine at white-linen establishments and the struggling soup-kitchen mavens who do what they have to to survive – have benefited from the altruistic contributions of the organization headed by Art Pope. Yes, that Art Pope. Pope, the current chairman and president of the Pope Foundation and Variety Wholesalers Inc., is the most polarizing person in state politics – and he’s not even in politics. Depending upon on which side of the aisle one stands, Pope is a selfless patriot or a reactionary zealot who at best is indifferent to the poor. While serving as Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget director, Pope was thought by many to be the state’s real chief executive, earning the sobriquet “Pope Art” and “knight of the right.” I always doubted that Pope was controlling state government, because much of it has been so dysfunctional that it would be hard to find Pope’s imprint on it. It’s not hard to find it on Step Up Ministry, though. Steve Swayne, CEO of the nonprofit jobs and life skills training program, said the $25,000 his organization received from the Pope Foundation “will help us place 30 people in jobs. ... Many of these people have been in the criminal justice system, over half of them have been homeless.” It has placed 554 in jobs this year. Whenever I’ve sought comments from Pope in the past, it was about some political move that had infuriated half of the populace and delighted others. That’s why when I called and left a message last week, I hurried up and let his office know that I come in peace, in recognition of the Christmas season. Philanthropic father When I reached him by phone, he explained that his father, John W. Pope, had long been philanthropic. “My parents gave directly ... and the company gave to local charities in the areas where we had employees. ... When I joined the family business in 1986, he wanted to channel the family and company charitable giving through a foundation. One of the first tasks he assigned to me was to form this Pope Foundation.” Pope said the group’s local humanitarian giving is centered in Wake, Vance and Harnett counties. “That’s where our family is from, where the company is from, where most of our employees are. Mainly, it’s a geographic criteria. ... We have a board of directors – originally, it was just me sitting down with my father reviewing the grant requests. In the last six or seven years, we’ve gotten more professional, a staff with grant officers – not many: we only have two people on the payroll. I’m not on the payroll, by the way. “They review and recommend the grantees, and we present it to the board of directors and the board approves it,” he said. Just reading the list of the groups that received almost $2 million in December is enough to set the mind a-racing at the thought of seeing them all coming together. In addition to Step Up Ministry, groups as disparate as the N.C. Symphony, N.C. Museum of Art, Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program, Carolina Ballet, Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, Safe Haven for Cats, and the Food Banks of Central and Eastern North Carolina all received grants from the foundation. Pope, in a news release, said, “The old ‘give a man a fish’ parable is that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but that if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. We believe in doing both.” That’s cool, but too many people don’t consider that, for a man to fish, he at least needs a pole. And a lake.

December 10, 2014

Pope Foundation Announces December Grant Recipients

Categories: Announcements, Education, Humanitarian, In The News, Philanthropy Updates, Press Releases, The Arts

John William Pope Foundation Announces December Grant Recipients Nearly $1.7 million given primarily to North Carolina causes RALEIGH — The John William Pope Foundation recently completed its December board meeting, awarding $1,692,500 to schools, churches, arts organizations, and community groups in its winter grant cycle. The winter grants went primarily to organizations serving the Triangle area and Vance County.  With the addition of these new grants, the Pope Foundation’s total giving for 2014 has exceeded $7.69 million. “The old ‘give a man a fish’ parable is that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but that if you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime,” said Art Pope, chairman of the Pope Foundation. “We believe in doing both. Our December grants provide direct humanitarian assistance to those most in need-for food, shelter, and health care. Our December grants also support education, the arts, and religion. These Pope Foundation grants will help enrich all aspects of the lives of the people of North Carolina.” Substantial grants were awarded to White Memorial Presbyterian Church of Raleigh and Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) in honor of the late Joyce Wilkins Pope, who passed away in May.  Joyce W. Pope served as the Pope Foundation’s president from its founding in 1986 until 1992, and was the wife of the late John William Pope, founder of the Pope Foundation and longtime president of Variety Wholesalers. Joyce L. Pope is vice president of the foundation and granddaughter of Joyce W. and John William Pope. “My grandparents cared deeply about the well being of people, and in particular my grandmother loved the arts,” she said. “We miss them dearly, but to be able to honor organizations in which they were deeply vested is rewarding. They would be so pleased to know how many more people will benefit from the care and services of these grantees.” A full list of December grant awards can be found below. The Foundation’s philanthropic vision is rooted in meeting real human needs, both in the short-term, through humanitarian aid, and in the long-term, through liberty-oriented organizations that foster a freer, more prosperous society so that individuals have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their loved ones.  For more information about the Pope Foundation and its grants, please visit www.jwpf.org. December 2014 Grantees: Area Christians Together in Service (A.C.T.S.) of Vance County - $5,000 Alliance Medical Ministries - $20,000 The Asheville School - $225,000 Barium Springs Home for Children - $10,000 Blessed Sacrament School - $10,000 Boy Scouts of America (Occoneechee Council) - $50,000 Carolina Ballet - $25,000 Children’s Homes of Iredell County - $5,000 CORRAL Riding Academy - $5,000 Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC - $10,000 Full Gospel Tabernacle of Life Church - $25,000 Godwin Presbyterian Church - $5,000 Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation - $50,000 The Green Chair Project - $10,000 H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library - $15,000 Habitat for Humanity, Wake County - $20,000 Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program - $5,000 Henderson YMCA - $5,000 Hope Reins of Raleigh - $10,000 Inter-Faith Food Shuttle - $10,000 Life Line Outreach - $5,000 North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation - $10,000 North Carolina Opera - $15,000 The North Carolina Symphony - $25,000 North Carolina Theatre - $25,000 Neuse Christian Academy  -$2,500 Performance Edge - $5,000 Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina - $25,000 Raleigh Charter High School - $25,000 Raleigh Fine Arts Society - $25,000 Raleigh Little Theatre - $5,000 Raleigh Rescue Mission - $10,000 Ravenscroft School - $25,000 Safe Haven for Cats - $5,000 The Salvation Army of Wake County - $10,000 SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals - $30,000 Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen - $10,000 StepUp Ministry - $25,000 Thoroughbred Charities of America - $10,000 Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association - $5,000 Transitions LifeCare (Formerly Hospice of Wake County) - $100,000 UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center - $400,000* United Way of Vance County - $15,000 Vance County Historical Society - $5,000 Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina-CARES - $20,000 Virginia Episcopal School - $25,000 White Memorial Presbyterian Church - $300,000* YMCA of the Triangle - $5,000 Youth Legislative Assembly - $5,000 *As part of a multi-year commitment ###  

November 20, 2014

Pope Foundation Announces New Leadership

Categories: Announcements, Press Releases

John Hood named president, joining Vice President Joyce L. Pope RALEIGH, N.C. NOVEMBER 20, 2014 – Longtime think tank leader and political commentator John Hood has been named president of the John William Pope Foundation, the Raleigh-based grant making foundation reported today. The John William Pope Foundation Board of Directors elected Hood as president of the Pope Foundation effective January 5, 2015. Art Pope will step down as president and continue as chairman of the Pope Foundation. Pope is also the chairman and CEO of the North Carolina based retailer, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., and the co-founder of the Pope Foundation. “John will be joining my daughter, Joyce Pope, who has been serving as vice president since July 2013,” Pope said. “I am confident that our new leadership team will maintain and expand the important work we’ve done since 1986 through charitable grants to humanitarian, educational and cultural efforts. We will continue our mission to assist organizations that alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for North Carolinians while also supporting long-term research and public policy efforts to increase prosperity and individual liberty. John Hood is uniquely qualified to lead the Pope Foundation to achieve these goals, and Joyce Pope provides a key opportunity to continue the work for future generations.” Hood helped found the John Locke Foundation and was one of its three employees when the Raleigh-based state think tank opened its doors in February 1990. He became JLF’s president in 1995 and the chairman of its board of directors a decade later. Under his leadership, the organization expanded its policy-research team, added a variety of educational and outreach programs, and created Carolina Journal, which provides news, analysis, and commentary on state politics and public policy to more than 150,000 North Carolinians through its print, radio and online editions. After he assumes the post of Pope Foundation president, Hood will continue to chair the board of JLF, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in February. His replacement as JLF president and CEO will be Kory Swanson, the think tank’s longtime executive vice president. “I was honored and delighted by the opportunity to lead the Pope Foundation, which has made such a difference in the lives of so many people for nearly three decades,” Hood said. “As a native North Carolinian and longtime friend of the Pope family, I share their vision for a stronger, more prosperous state in which economic opportunities are broadly shared, private charity plays a broader role in serving community needs, and our greatest educational, cultural, and artistic achievements are broadly appreciated.” Formerly a newspaper and magazine reporter, Hood will also continue his work in the print and broadcast media. He writes a twice-weekly syndicated column for 50 daily and community newspapers across North Carolina and a monthly column for Business North Carolina magazine. He is a weekly panelist on the statewide TV program “NC SPIN” and a regular commentator for radio and TV stations in North Carolina and elsewhere. Hood is the author of six books, ranging in subject from national politics and economic policy to North Carolina history. A former stage performer and 4-H volunteer who co-founded a summer theatre program in the Triangle area, he has also authored dozens of songs and a musical play. He is currently completing his seventh book, a biography of former North Carolina Gov. James G. Martin. A Mecklenburg County native, Hood is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in journalism and competed on the debate team. While there, he founded The Carolina Critic, a student magazine that later added editions at five other college campuses. Hood is a William C. Friday Fellow in human relations and a former Bradley Visiting Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. At JLF, Hood helped create the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, a yearlong program that prepares young North Carolinians for leadership roles in government, business, and nonprofits. The ranks of Morris Fellows include state lawmakers, local elected officials, entrepreneurs, business managers, professionals, educators, and citizen activists. Hood has also served on the faculty of the Institute of Political Leadership and on selection committees for the Friday Fellowship and the German Marshall Fund's Marshall Memorial Fellowship. As the Pope Foundation’s vice president, Joyce Pope works with arts and humanitarian grantees and on the foundation’s day-to-day operations.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving both her undergraduate and law degrees there. She worked with the Washington, D.C. strategic communications consulting firm Greener and Hook, LLC, and while in law school interned at the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina under Judge Stephani Humrickhouse.  Joyce completed an externship at the Office of the Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties and was a summer associate at Wyrick Robbins Yates and Ponton, a Raleigh law firm. The transitions at the Pope Foundation also include Lindsay Hollandsworth as the new Communications Director, effective November 2014. Hollandsworth is a graduate of Wingate University. Prior to her work with the Pope Foundation, she served as Programs and Communications Manager for the Jesse Helms Center Foundation in Wingate, North Carolina. The John William Pope Foundation has been serving critical needs through generous grants since 1986.  The foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million with North Carolina charities and organizations being the primary beneficiaries.  For more information about the foundation, visit www.jwpf.org.  

June 18, 2014

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Announces 2014 John William Pope Clinical Fellows

Categories: Announcements

              The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty has selected the recipients of the 2014 John William Pope Clinical Fellows awards. They are: David Chism, MD, MSc David Johnson, MD, MPH Christopher Tignanelli, MD    The Pope Foundation congratulates these very deserving fellows on their hard work and dedication and wishes them continued success in their research and careers.   Pictured above Left to Right: Joyce Pope, Vice President, John William Pope Foundation; Christopher Tignanelli, MD; David Chism, MD, MSc; David Johnson, MD, MPH; David Stover, Board Member, John William Pope Foundation.   Please click here for more information on each of the fellows and the details of the awards. ___________________________________________________________________________ Please click here to read more on the Pope Foundation grants to the  UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

May 22, 2014

In Memory of Joyce W. Pope

Categories: Announcements

Joyce Wilkins Pope passed away peacefully on May 14, 2014, surrounded by her family in Raleigh, North Carolina. Joy was born on November 10, 1929 in Linden, North Carolina, to William Arthur Wilkins and Ruth Tew Wilkins. Joy graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1947, and worked at Highsmith Hospital in Fayetteville, NC before marrying her husband, John William Pope, on May 14, 1949. John and Joy moved from Fuquay Springs, NC to Raleigh in 1961. Joy enjoyed traveling, cooking, entertaining, and gardening. She loved spending time with her friends and family. Joy was especially passionate about the arts, and a longtime supporter of Raleigh Fine Arts, Carolina Ballet, and the North Carolina Symphony, as well as being a life long fan and supporter of the UNC Tarheels. She was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, and friend. Joy was a founding member of the Raleigh Fine Arts Society and a member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the board of directors of the John William Pope Foundation for 27 years, serving as its first president from 1986 until 1992. She is survived by her daughter, Amanda Joyce "Mandy" Pope of Citra, FL, and her son, James Arthur "Art" Pope and his wife Kathy of Raleigh; her brother, Philip A. Wilkins of Fayetteville; and her grandchildren, Joyce L. Pope of Raleigh, and Earle J.A. Pope of Boone, and their step-brother Nicholas G. Vail of Raleigh. She is preceded in death by her husband, John William Pope, and her son, John William Pope, Jr.

April 14, 2014

Pope Foundation Gives $1.3 Million to UNC Lineberger to Fight Cancer

Categories: Humanitarian, Medical, Press Releases

RALEIGH, N.C. APRIL 14, 2014 — The John William Pope Foundation has made a $1.3 million gift to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund cancer research and treatment. As one of the leading cancer centers in the United States, UNC Lineberger brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. One million dollars of the Pope Foundation’s gift will fund the creation of the John William Pope Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Research and $300,000 will fund the John William Pope Clinical Fellows Awards Program. “An endowed professorship is one of the highest academic honors that a university can provide its faculty, allowing them to propel their research, ignite collaborations and support mentorship,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “We are extremely grateful to the John William Pope Foundation for allowing us to bestow this honor to our faculty.”  “My father was passionate about giving to both cancer treatment and research, and that’s exactly what these gifts do,” said Art Pope, Chairman and President of the John William Pope Foundation. “He was very clear that he wanted any investment we made to stay in North Carolina. These are the kind of projects he would have wanted.” Grantee Profile: UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center The gift was recently presented at the UNC Lineberger Board of Visitors meeting on April 11, 2014. “We are honored to receive this generous gift from the John William Pope Foundation,” said William Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs, and chief executive officer of the University of North Carolina Health Care System. “Private funds to support both established faculty and junior researchers are critical as we develop the best and brightest physicians. With this gift, we will continue conducting groundbreaking cancer research and delivering outstanding cancer care in North Carolina.” UNC Lineberger will nominate Thomas Shea to be the first recipient of the John William Pope Distinguished Professorship.  Appropriately, Shea was one of the late John William Pope’s physicians when he was treated for cancer in 2006 and is an international leader in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies. Shea is the director of the UNC Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program and UNC Lineberger associate director of clinical outreach. “I am humbled that the Pope family chose to make such a significant gift in my honor and pleased to be considered as the first recipient,” Shea said. “With this new professorship, I hope to expand our research surrounding hematologic malignancies and lay the foundation for continued excellence in our transplant and blood cancer initiatives.” Achiever Spotlight: Dr. Thomas Shea The John William Pope Clinical Fellow Awards Program will support annual awards to three outstanding clinical fellows, judged by the faculty on the basis of their extraordinary clinical or translational cancer research during their post-graduate clinical training. “We wanted to make sure that while we were investing in an established investigator, we were also investing in young investigators,” said Joyce L. Pope, vice president of the John William Pope Foundation. “This is a seed investment,” said Norman Sharpless, director of UNC Lineberger. “These will be the next great physician-scientists studying cancer, and this program allows us to recognize and foster these talented young people who represent the future of cancer research.”   ABOUT THE POPE FOUNDATION The John William Pope Foundation, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, works to improve the well-being of the citizens of North Carolina and the nation through the advancement of individual freedom and personal responsibility. From its first grant in 1986 to the present, the Foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million, particularly to charities and organizations in North Carolina.   ABOUT UNC LINEBERGER COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER One of only 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center brings together some of the most exceptional physicians and scientists in the country to investigate and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. With research that spans the spectrum from the laboratory to the bedside to the community, UNC Lineberger faculty work to understand the causes of cancer at the genetic and environmental levels, to conduct groundbreaking laboratory research, and to translate findings into pioneering and innovative clinical trials. For more information, please visit www.unclineberger.org. ###