The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has announced a $10 million challenge grant from alumnus John G. Ellison, Jr. to help retain and reward top scholars and researchers and attract other talented teachers, scholars, and students to its campus.
Part of the university's $4.25 billion For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina, the Faculty Excellence Challenge will run through October 8, 2018, and will support the university's efforts to sustain its current level of teaching excellence and expand its faculty in areas that enhance overall academic quality, strengthen the research enterprise, broaden innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, and better serve a growing undergraduate, graduate, and professional student body. If met, the challenge will provide at least an additional $10 million for support of these and other initiatives.
Ellison, who also committed art valued at more than $11.5 million to the university's Ackland Art Museum, is chair of Ellison Co. Inc. and a co-chair of the Campaign for Carolina Steering Committee. He has also served on multiple UNC boards, including the university's board of trustees, the UNC Board of Visitors, and the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities advisory board.
"John's extraordinary pledge jumpstarts the Faculty Excellence Challenge and supports our mission to attract, reward, and retain talented faculty who open minds and change the lives of our students," said UNC Chapel Hill chancellor Carol L. Folt. "John has been a dedicated Tar Heel volunteer and contributor to our university for decades. Thanks to his wonderful new investment in Carolina, we have the opportunity to champion our faculty whose dedicated work helps create our understanding of science, medicine and the humanities."