Skip to content Skip to Programs Navigation

News & Stories

The beauty of art

Dickey's and Dean Schackleford

Emerson and Cheryl Dickey bring the gift of art into daily life at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Emerson Dickey (BSBA ’67) and his wife, Cheryl Dickey, never thought of themselves as art collectors until they visited a gallery in Maui while on vacation.

“We saw paintings that leaped out to us. We thought we would buy one, but before the night was over we bought four,” says Dickey. “What we learned was that the beauty of the art enhanced our living spaces in ways we hadn’t imagined – and the process began.”

Years later, UNC Kenan-Flagler is now fortunate to receive part of the Dickeys’ collection – featuring work by painters Yankel Ginzburg and Andrea Razzauti – as an in-kind gift to the School.

“As we started to downsize, we wanted others to have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty we have experienced for almost 20 years,” says Dickey. “UNC has been a big part of the foundation of my career and life. It was a natural move to contact the Business School to see if there was any interest, and indeed our timing was good. I hope that the art will bring pleasure, serenity and inspiration to staff, faculty and students alike.”

Now retired, Dickey had a successful career culminating in his role as a managing partner at Accenture LLP, and he attributes much of that success to his years at the Business School.

“As with many things in life, serendipity played a huge role in my connection to UNC. I almost went to that school in Raleigh but was granted a small scholarship ​that swayed my decision. Much of the rest of my life hinged on that scholarship – marriage, children, grandchildren and so much more. So it was only natural to want to give back to UNC Kenan-Flagler. Knowing that a piece of our life will be there for many years to come is very satisfying.”

“This art from Emerson and Cheryl not only beautifies our halls for current and prospective students, faculty, staff and guests, it also supports the University’s Arts Everywhere initiative to embed the arts into daily life and promote its power as a universal language to spark creativity,” says Dean Doug Shackelford (BSBA ’80), dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation at UNC Kenan-Flagler.