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New building at UNC

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For more than 100 years, students have come to Carolina to study business. We prepare them to become extraordinary leaders who grapple with and solve critical issues with wisdom and courage.

Today, we can’t meet the growing student demand for our Undergraduate Business Program (UBP). We can accept only half of our applicants each year despite their impressive qualifications. We simply don’t have enough space.

Today, we compete for the world’s best students, faculty and staff, but we are the only top 20 business school in the U.S. that hasn’t built a new, state-of-the-art building to meet the needs of business education.

The power of education to improve lives is a universal story. We need your help to provide our world-class business education for even more talented students.

The need is urgent.

We are at full capacity.

Ever since the founding of the Business School in 1919, student demand has grown. In recent years, it outpaced our ability to serve talented UNC students who want to major in business, and in the last decade we doubled our graduate enrollment. Since we relocated from Carroll Hall to the McColl Building in 1997, our program growth has outpaced our facilities. We expanded into the basement and the attic, but we don’t have enough classroom/study space or offices for faculty and staff.

We deliberately took on a complex mission to offer programs for a wide range of students, and to deliver excellence in every program. Today we have approximately 1,000 Undergraduate Business, 400 Master of Accounting, 1,600 MBA and 70 PhD students.

The new building will make it possible for us to:

  • Increase UBP enrollment by at least 50%
  • Attract more top students from around the globe to our graduate programs
  • Enhance learning and collaboration for all students
  • Alleviate serious space challenges

On deadline.

In June 2020, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill that provides $75 million in funding to expand and enhance the UNC Kenan-Flagler campus.

To receive these public funds, UNC Kenan-Flagler must raise $75 million in private funding by June 30, 2022.

“I am incredibly grateful for this support from the state,” says Dean Doug Shackelford (BSBA ’80). “It is a vote of confidence in our University and our Business School, and critical to our mission to prepare our students to be the next generation of leaders.”

Construction, which will begin when we have raised the total project cost of $150 million, will take approximately two years and renovations to the McColl Building and Kenan Center will take an additional 12 months.

A new building is a win-win for the state of North Carolina. Over 70% of our UBP alumni return to North Carolina within 10 years of graduation and build their lives, careers and businesses here.

Investing in North Carolina.

Steven D. Bell (BA ’67), chairman of Bell Partners, has spent his life investing in people and real estate. Now he’s made his greatest investment ever in both: He pledged $25 million to support the new building.

His goal: Make North Carolina even better.

Bell wants more undergraduate students to have access to the transformational education offered by UNC Kenan-Flagler, and the new building makes it possible expand the UBP.

“More graduates will benefit our entire state for decades to come and ultimately create dramatic change,” he says. “UNC graduates become better employees, employers, entrepreneurs and contributors to our state. Having one of the best business schools in the U.S. right here in Chapel Hill is a precious resource for our state and our region.”

We received a second $25 million pledge by an anonymous donor to support the new building.

“These two incredible gifts will allow us to expand our Undergraduate Business Program, giving us the opportunity to teach more students and spur economic growth in our state,” says Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz.

The future of learning.

We are designing the new building for learning – flexible classrooms, more space for teamwork, and enhanced technology – to build community and a sense of belonging. The ambitious project will help us accomplish the following:

  • Double the available teaching space
  • Create outdoor greenspaces
  • Increase space for student life and community interaction by 48%
  • Meet LEED Gold standards as a baseline for sustainability with the goal of achieving LEED Platinum
  • Leverage the surrounding natural environment to reduce our energy use
  • Facilitate greater connections across the entire UNC campus with a new orientation towards Blythe Drive
  • The new social and study spaces will provide students more opportunities to gather on campus and will position the Business School as the epicenter of South Campus, providing students across the University a place to study, socialize, and grab a cup of coffee.  

The total $150 million project also will include a refit of the McColl Building and Kenan Center, and more parking.

For more information contact:

Jeff Terry
Campaign Director