UNC gets $18M gift for undergraduate entrepreneurship program

UNC Chapel Hill (Shutterstock)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Tuesday that the Shuford family of Hickory has made an $18 million gift to the College of Arts & Sciences to more than double its nationally recognized undergraduate entrepreneurship program.

UNC said the minor degree in entrepreneurship will be named the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship in the family's honor.

"This is an extraordinary gift for our University. We are so grateful to the Shuford family for making possible a major expansion of what is a core pillar of Carolina's strategic vision for the next decade," said Chancellor Carol L. Folt.

UNC said it's the largest single one-time gift by a living individual or family to the college.

The money will support twice the current number of student internships at entrepreneurial firms worldwide and will encourage problem-based learning throughout the college and University.

In a news release, UNC said the Shuford gift will create three additional entrepreneurs-in-residence and up to four faculty fellows, and will create up to 70 student internships and a lecture series on innovation and entrepreneurship. Funds will also endow the program's executive director and internship director positions. In partnership with the Shuford Program, the college will provide support for at least three additional full-time faculty members, an entrepreneur-in-residence and an administrative staff position.

"I think entrepreneurship is a big part of the future of work," said Jim Shuford. "The skills of entrepreneurial thinking and problem-solving are a natural fit for the liberal arts."

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