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Spotlight: Generous Gifts Keep Education Looking Forward

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Spotlight: Generous Gifts Keep Education Looking Forward

Date Published:
Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gifts from three generous benefactors are adding fuel to the College of Education’s 40th anniversary Looking Forward capital campaign.

On May 3, the University acknowledged three major awards to the college, including a $2,000,000 bequest, the largest single donation to the College of Education at UNC Charlotte.

The gift was made from the estate of Mr. Nicholas Goudes, Charlotte entrepreneur and philanthropist, to the Alma and Sharon Goudes Education Scholarship Fund. The bequest joins a previous $1,000,000 gift from Mr. Goudes to generate generous scholarships for UNC Charlotte students who are preparing for careers as teachers of mathematics or English. Since 1998, 76 students have been named Goudes Scholars at UNC Charlotte.

Nicholas Goudes, who died on April 5, 2010, was a native of Sparta, Greece and came to the United States in 1947 where he pursued a successful career in hospitality. With his wife Alma, he founded the Sharon View County Club and served for 40 years as the club’s proprietor.

“Mr. Goudes chose to support future teachers out of a great love and respect for the teaching profession,” said College of Education Dean Mary Lynne Calhoun, “and out of a clear understanding of how education can open doors of opportunity.”

Currently, over 3,000 UNC Charlotte students are preparing for careers in education. Approximately 7,000
UNC Charlotte alumni are working in North Carolina’s public schools.
Dean Mary Lynne Calhoun

Two additional major gifts were announced at the 40th anniversary celebration. The Honorable Irwin Belk has made the lead gift to establish the $1,000,000 endowment which has created the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professorship in Urban Education. This new professorship will focus on the Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction and will provide leadership for the college’s commitment to successful teaching and learning in urban settings.

The Cato Teaching Discovery Mural, established through a $300,000 gift from the Cato Corporation and its CEO, UNC Charlotte alumnus John Cato, will be an architectural mural in sculpted brick, to be installed next year outside the College of Education building. The mural will feature images of the power of teaching and will include elements of North Carolina’s history and heritage, making it a destination of discovery for groups of school children. Donors who make a gift of $1000 or more may identify an outstanding teacher whose name will be inscribed on the mural site.

Currently, over 3,000 UNC Charlotte students are preparing for careers in education. Approximately 7,000 UNC Charlotte alumni are working in North Carolina’s public schools. Last year the College of Education recommended over 600 new teachers for the North Carolina teaching license, the second highest number among North Carolina’s 47 colleges and universities.

The Looking Forward Campaign will continue through June 2013.

Photo by Wade Bruton.