Pope Foundation Makes $10 Million Commitment to UNC-Chapel Hill

April 23, 2018

Gift will support academics, research and athletics

UNC-CH Vice Chancellor David Routh, Joyce L. Pope, Art Pope, and UNC-CH Chancellor Carol Folt at today's announcement.
UNC-CH Vice Chancellor David Routh, Joyce L. Pope, Art Pope, and UNC-CH Chancellor Carol Folt at today’s announcement.

RALEIGH, N.C. – During a presentation today at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the John William Pope Foundation announced a $10 million commitment to the ‘Campaign for Carolina.’ The gift will be split among four programs: $5 million for UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund post-doctoral fellowships for cancer researchers; $3.75 million for the Philosophy, Politics & Economics Program in the College of Arts and Sciences to expand professorships and fund additional guest speakers; $1 million to the athletics department to fund scholarships for track-and-field athletes; and $250,000 to UNC Horizons Program to fund a three-year study on effectiveness of its innovative treatment program for substance disorders among pregnant and parenting women.

“We have joined the Campaign for Carolina challenge with a gift that supports the university’s core missions of education, scholarship, and service,” said Art Pope, chairman of the Pope Foundation. “As a member of a three-generation Tarheel family, I know the value of a Chapel Hill education firsthand. It’s truly a world-class institution. We are proud and honored to be one of many partners investing in excellence at Carolina.”

“I am so grateful for this wonderful gift from the Pope Foundation,” said UNC-Chapel Hill 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.”

Art Pope speaks about the four-part gift at Monday's announcement.
Art Pope speaks about the four-part gift at Monday’s announcement.

The Pope family has long standing philanthropic ties to UNC-Chapel Hill, both individually and through the foundation. Including today’s pledge, the Pope family has now given over $19 million to the school with $7.75 million to athletics, $6.5 million to medical research and study and $5 million to academic programs. The John William Pope Foundation was established in 1986 with the mission of improving opportunity for North Carolinians through advancement of individual freedom and personal responsibility. To date, the foundation has given more than $145 million to over 400 nonprofits. The foundation’s namesake, the late John William Pope, Sr., was a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and founder of Variety Wholesalers, Inc. Today, his son Art Pope serves as chairman of Variety, a company operating 350 retail stores, including Roses and Maxway, in 17 states.