Irwin Belk Donates
a Quarter of a Million Dollars to UNCP
University of North
Carolina at Pembroke officials announced today that Charlotte philanthropist
Irwin Belk has donated $250,000 to help construct an athletic complex
on campus. The gift represents the largest cash gift in the history
of the university.
On Friday at their
1 p.m. meeting, the UNCP Board of Trustees will officially name the
Track and Soccer Complex for Mr. Belk. They are also expected to name
the track itself the Dick and Lenore Taylor Track for the Lumberton,
N.C., couple who donated $50,000 to the project.
"We are deeply
grateful to Mr. Belk for this gift, his continued support of the university
and his life time of good works," said Chancellor Allen C. Meadors.
"This gift will help turn our new Track and Soccer Complex into
an truly outstanding facility."
The new complex
includes a state-of-the-art eight-lane track, a lighted soccer field
and two practice fields. With Mr. Belk's gift, the university expects
to add seating for over 1,000 spectators, locker rooms, concessions,
a press box, storage and office space.
gift represents a new standard for major gifts to the university and
the Athletic Department," said Dan Kenney, UNCP athletic director.
"The impact of his effort will be felt by our students and the
community for generations to come."
The retired president
of the Belk Group of department stores has now donated funds to help
construct 15 track facilities in the Carolinas.
UNCP's Mary Irwin
Belk Residence Hall, which was dedicated in 1970 and is named for Mr.
Belk's mother, marked the family's' first gift to the Pembroke campus.
A contribution from Mr. Belk endowed a distinguished professor position
in the UNCP School of Business.
Mr. Belk has a lifelong
interest in track and field, stemming from his days running for UNC-Chapel
Hill. He has also been a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee for 45
years and received the organization's highest volunteer award, the Olympic
Order, at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Mr. Belk's other
philanthropic resume includes serving as president of the American Cancer
Society Foundation for 40 years. He received that organization's highest
award, the Merit Award in 2002.
A generous contributor
to higher education in North Carolina, Mr. Belk served two terms on
the UNC Board of Governors. He is a former state senator and was appointed
a U.S. delegate to the 54th United Nations General Assembly.
to University Newswire