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Friday, January 22, 2010

UNCP celebrates BB&T’s second endowed professorship

On January 12, University and BB&T officials celebrated the establishment of its second endowed professorship in the School of Business of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

BB&T Senior Vice President James Gore speaks to UNCP and bank officials

BB&T Senior Vice President James Gore speaks to UNCP and bank officials

Black Line

BB&T Corporation of Winston-Salem, N.C., has now pledged $1 million over 10 years to establish the endowments. A separate gift of $50,000 will support programs on ethics in business.

The BB&T Distinguished Endowed Professorship in the Morality of Capitalism was announced at the luncheon. The BB&T Distinguished Endowed Professorship in the Philosophical Foundations of Free Enterprise was established in 2007.

UNCP’s School of Business held forums in 2009 on business ethics and the philosophical foundations of capitalism. A new course, the “Ethics in Capitalism,” was launched in January 2010.

The event highlighted the historic and ongoing ties between BB&T, the 10th largest U.S. bank holding company, and UNCP. The guest speaker was BB&T employee Maggie Wojtowicz, a 2009 UNCP graduate and current MBA candidate.

“When I look around me at the office, I see so many UNCP graduates and students,” Wojtowicz said. “I appreciate BB&T’s leadership in the community and for allowing students like me to put theory into practice.

“BB&T plays a great role in the lives of students like me,” she said.

As a student, Wojtowicz worked part-time with BB&T and has been promoted to supervisor as a full-time employee. She said she has learned more than business on the job.

“As a student we learned the moral lessons of business,” Wojtowicz said. “BB&T is an example of a mission-driven business.”

Chancellor Charles Jenkins called it a “wonderful gift.” He noted that BB&T’s strong core principles are a beacon of light amidst recent turmoil in the financial markets.

“The values that BB&T inculcates into its business relationships are a model for our students,” Chancellor Jenkins said. “When I teach a class in applied ethics in school leadership, I often quote John Allison (former BB&T chief executive officer).

“The number one crisis in our nation is not a financial one, but one of ethics,” he said.

Senior Vice President and Lumberton City Executive James Gore echoed the bank’s mission statement and praised UNCP’s role.

“At BB&T, we have a strong commitment to improving our communities,” Gore said. “Our mission has never wavered and never changed.

“It is a distinct advantage to have a UNC university in our community,” he continued. “UNCP is a vital part of higher education in the state and in the region, and a very important part of the economy of this county.”

As BB&T’s CEO, Allison lectured at UNCP and earned a wider reputation during the recent financial downturn for his highly principled leadership.

Dr. Eric Dent was dean of the School of Business when the first endowed professorship was established.

“Our School of Business has held up BB&T as a success story,” Dr. Dent said. “They have demonstrated good moral and ethical business practices and have avoided the pitfalls that befell so many other financial institutions.

 “How will the next generation acquire these values when many universities have not taken up the cause of moral and ethical training?” he asked. “This gift will mold our students to become better students, better employees and better citizens.

“John Allison was pleased with UNCP’s activities thus far, which built confidence that another donation to our campus would be spent wisely,” he concluded.
The gift will be made over 10 years and will be matched by the North Carolina General Assembly’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund. As an endowment, the gift will fund the professorship perpetually.

It is UNCP’s eighth endowed professorship and the fourth in the School of Business.

BB&T Corporation and its subsidiaries offer full-service commercial and retail banking and additional financial services such as insurance, investments, retail brokerage, mortgage, corporate finance, consumer finance, payment services, international banking, leasing and trust.

BB&T operates more than 1,800 financial centers in 13 states and Washington, D.C. With $165.3 billion in assets, it is the nation's 10th largest financial holding company.

The bank has historic roots in Eastern North Carolina. BB&T was founded in Wilson in 1872, and in 1995, it merged with like-sized Southern National Corp., a bank founded in Lumberton, N.C.

More information about the company is available at www.BBT.com.

To learn more about this gift or giving at UNCP, please call the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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