Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Charlotte based department store chain Belk Inc has announced a commitment of $5 million to UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business over the next five years, with the intention of boosting the school’s efforts to teach business innovation and the use of data analysis in marketing.
The gift is the largest in the history of the business college, which was named in honor of the Belk family and the family-owned department-store chain in 1990.
The money will be used for an endowed professorship in business innovation and an endowed chair in marketing analytics. North Carolina also will provide nearly $1.2 million in matching funds for those two positions.
Steven Ott, dean of the college, said the gift will help the business school recruit high-quality students. It will allow the school to identify top undergraduate business students and funnel them into a fast-track graduate program now being developed that will focus on data science and business analytics.
At a reception at the UNCC’s Center City campus uptown, Chancellor Philip Dubois said it’s the biggest single gift the business school has received.
“This gift not only reinforces that very special relationship,” he said, “but marks a new era in corporate-university partnerships for the college and the university.”
Belk officials said they welcomed the opportunity to help the school groom students who can help businesses like theirs understand the rapidly changing digital marketplace.
“This is an incredibly exciting day for Belk,” said the company’s president and chief operating officer, John Belk. “Our world is changing. Our customers are changing. Business is changing deeply.”
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