PEMBROKE — Leadership of BB&T Corporation and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke came together recently to celebrate the bank’s generous support of the School of Business. With historic roots in Robeson County, BB&T is one of the university’s most generous corporate partners.
Headquartered in Winston Salem with more than 1,800 financial centers in 13 states and the District of Columbia, BB&T has funded an endowed professorship in The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s School of Business and pledged to support a second endowed chair.
For Phil Marion, president of BB&T’s Southeast North Carolina operations, the meeting was a homecoming. His 31 years in banking includes the position of city executive in Lumberton.
“This is a special place, and BB&T remembers its roots,” Marion said. “As the oldest bank in North Carolina, we’ve endured many challenges, just as UNCP has. At BB&T, we believe strongly in education; we want to continue as a partner.”
BB&T’s support adds up to $525,000 over the past five years, and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Chancellor Kyle R. Carter thanked the bank for its continued support.
“At a time when private support is needed more than ever before, UNC Pembroke understands the importance of strengthening existing relationships with current donors and engaging new friends,” Carter said. “Our efforts are focused on increasing monetary resources that support academic programming and services that benefit students.”
Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Office of Advancement, said corporate support of higher education is vital to the missions of both organizations.
“The corporate leaders of tomorrow are in college today,” Lowery said. “It is essential to develop partnerships within the corporate community to further university initiatives and, in turn, to enhance the vitality of the region we all serve.”
Besides supporting the communities where it does business, BB&T philanthropic goals focus on ethics in business, Marion said.
“We want to promote a deeper understanding of the morality of capitalism and its causal relationship with prosperity,” he said. “We would encourage a thorough discussion of the moral foundations of capitalism.”
BB&T has developed a remarkable giving program in higher education. In 2007, BB&T committed $525,000 over a five-year period to the School of Business, establishing the Distinguished Endowed Professorship in the Philosophical Foundations of Free Enterprise. In 2009, BB&T pledged an additional gift of $525,000 over five years, establishing the BB&T Distinguished Endowed Professorship in the Morality of Capitalism.
The groups gathered to celebrate the beginning of their fulfillment of their second gift.
“Endowed professorships are greatly valued because they allow a university to attract great scholars and teachers. Students are the ultimate beneficiaries,” Lowery said.
For information, contact the Office of Advancement at 910-521-6252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Bigelow is the associate director of Public Relations for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.