Wonderful news for NC State University and its College of Management last Friday with the announcement of a $40 million gift from Lonnie C. and Carol Johnson Poole. The College of Management will receive $37 million and will henceforth be known as the Lonnie C. Poole College of Management. The gift will be used to build and improve programs in sustainability, ethics, and entrepreneurship. The remainder of the gift will be used to build the Carol Johnson Poole clubhouse adjacent to the Lonnie C. Poole golf course on Centennial Campus and to build faculty excellence in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Graduate programs will continue to be housed in the Ben Jenkins Graduate School of Management. At graduation Saturday I introduced the students as the first graduates of the Jenkins MBA program in the Poole College of Management. Boy, that felt great!
On the more serious side, the Poole naming gift opens up opportunities for our college while at the same time raises the stakes for improved performance and visibility. I have been in graduate management education for almost 20 years and have seen a number of schools get very sizable gifts. Sometimes it makes a big difference; other times the only thing that changes is the name. My responsibility in the coming year will be to engage with faculty, students and staff to discuss how to best leverage the gift so that the college has greater impact.