(Photo: Chancellor Sartarelli with David S. Congdon and his wife, Helen Congdon at the announcement reception)
This blog post was originally shared on WilmingtonBiz.com on January 4 and is adapted from the UNCW news story by Christina Schechtman, UNCW Office of University Relations.
On Dec. 6, the University of North Carolina Wilmington received a $10 million gift commitment from alumnus David Congdon, ’78, and his wife, Helen.
This represents the largest outright gift commitment in university history. With it, UNCW will establish the "David S. Congdon School of Supply Chain, Business Analytics and Information Systems," supporting these programs within the Cameron School of Business. The Computer Information Systems Building will also be rededicated as David S. Congdon Hall.
David Congdon graduated from UNCW in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was named the 2008 Cameron School of Business Alumnus of the Year. He has spent his entire career, which began when he was a teenager and continued after graduation, with Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.
The company was founded in Richmond, Virginia, in 1934 by his grandparents. Its headquarters was relocated in the early 60s to High Point, North Carolina, where the Congdon family has resided since.
David’s experience has included dockworker, truck driver, mechanic, industrial engineer and various executive positions leading up to his promotion to the role of president and chief operating officer from 1997-2015. He was named CEO in 2008 and currently acts as executive chairman of the board.
Congdon has been recognized in the Triad and by Fortune magazine for his business and community leadership, and he serves on a number of community and industry boards.
It is anticipated that the Congdons’ gift will have a substantial impact in: facilitating scholarships and professorships; providing research support; creating and maintaining corporate sponsorships; and advancing program technology and equipment. Ultimately, the gift will also enhance economic development in the region and the state, given that supply chain, business analytics and information systems are high-growth areas.
In fact, forecasts show that the top emerging jobs in the U.S. are in the fields of data analytics and information data specialists, and supply chain managers are among the top 20 in-demand positions that offer average salaries above $100,000. Thus, this truly remarkable gift helps our students and serves the interests of our great state.
"Generous and innovative philanthropic leaders like the Congdons help the university address the most pressing needs of the region, building workforce expertise and benefiting local industries,” said Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “We are confident that this commitment will serve as a catalyst to inspire other donors who want to transform the lives of students and help us engage faculty, alumni and the community to expand, explore and address the issues important to our region."
The faculty, staff and students in the Cameron School are very thankful to the Congdon family as we seek to elevate our programs and soar to new heights. Remember that every gift counts, however large or small, as we seek to contribute to the lives of our graduates and the lives of the people of North Carolina.