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December 16, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The C. D. Spangler Foundation has made a $10-million advance payment to the University of North Carolina for a challenge-grant program it created last year to increase the number of distinguished professorships in high-need academic fields. The Foundation had pledged to invest $20 million over five years, beginning in 2008, to help each UNC campus qualify for one endowed chair each year—potentially adding 80 distinguished professorships. This latest gift—hand-delivered to UNC President Erskine Bowles—fulfills the Foundation’s financial commitment through mid-2011. The release of the funds remains contingent on the NC General Assembly providing state matching funds totaling $4.6 million annually through the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.
C. D. Spangler Foundation Makes $10 Million Advance Payment for Distinguished Professorships on UNC Campuses
A successful Charlotte businessman and passionate advocate for public education at all levels, C. D. Spangler, Jr., served as UNC President from 1986 to 1997. In addition to this latest challenge-grant program, he and his family foundation have made gifts to endow or complete more than 50 other distinguished professorships across the University. Explaining his decision to accelerate pledge payments to the University before all required state funds have been appropriated, President Emeritus Spangler said, “My family and I feel there has never been a time when the benefits of the University of North Carolina and all 16 of our campuses were needed more by the people of our state than is so at this time. A prime strength of these universities is their faculties. Our hope is in these troubled time that the importance of the academic efforts of the University of North Carolina will continue to be recognized by all who are in a position to help make a difference by their voices and otherwise.”
The Spangler program makes an annual $250,000 challenge grant available to each UNC campus, with the private matching requirements varying by type of campus. The nine smallest campuses may immediately qualify for a $500,000 chair with no private fund-raising, or may raise an additional $250,000 from other private sources to qualify for a $1-million chair. The seven larger campuses are required to raise an additional $417,000 from other private sources to qualify for a $1-million chair. All professorships endowed through this program must be in the high-need fields of teacher education, engineering, nursing, and the traditional arts and sciences.