The university’s School of Business is set to receive a gift of $7 million by Board of Trustee Member Jim Thomas and wife Sally, for the construction of the new business building.
According to a university press release, “the gift will go toward the construction of a $36 million facility, which will feature a number of innovative spaces designed to foster 21st century problem-solving.”
This donation makes history for the university, but not just in its value for the school of Business.
The Thomases’ gift marks the largest monetary designation in the university’s history.
“A deferred gift of $3 million for the establishment of a fund to support the maintenance of the building and promote the work of the School of Business will come from the Thomases’ estate,” as stated on a university press release. “The balance of $4 million is a challenge gift. To receive the latter gift, the university is required to raise an additional $4 million in funding to match the gift.”
The costly project will combine funds from the Connect NC Bond and Golden LEAF funds to help reach goals necessary to build.
“We will be asking foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals to help us make this project a reality for our students,” said Chancellor Robin Cummings. “I can think of no better way to invest in our region than making an impact on education and training available to generations of students.”
Thomas said that he hopes the donation will help better the community and provide greater opportunities for county residents.
“It is my hope that these combined efforts will help the community continue to grow, changing the economic makeup of the region,” he said.
According to a university release, “the new facility will include a career center, a fully-equipped auditorium, a video conference room, computer lab, trading room, collaborative lounges and study spaces, and a multi-media resource room.”
“This gift will further advance the school’s mission of preparing students for a competitive global environment, enhance their learning experience and prepare them to serve as business leaders,” Dr. Barry O’Brien, dean of the School of Business, said. “This is a great day for the School of Business at UNC Pembroke.”
Originally from Pembroke, Jim Thomas has gone on to become a a prominent Los Angeles real estate developer, and founder of the Thomas Family Foundation, as stated on a press release by the university.