The gift will be used to create the Ken and Cheryl Williams Fund for Venture Initiatives in support of leading-edge cancer research at the state's only public comprehensive cancer center.
Ken Williams received his master's degree from the UNC School of Public Health (now the Gillings School of Global Public Health) in 1970 and his doctorate in 1976 and later served as senior vice president of Quintiles, a contract research company headquartered in Durham. The Williamses have been active supporters of the Educational Foundation at UNC and currently serve on the board of visitors of UNC Lineberger.
"This tremendous gift will strengthen UNC Lineberger's pursuit of the most promising areas of cancer research that will save and improve lives in North Carolina and beyond," said UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol L. Folt. "UNC Lineberger faculty and physicians have a great track record of collaborating across disciplines to seek cures for cancer, which is the leading cause of death in North Carolina and the U.S."