Social Governance

UNC Kenan-Flagler Gets $11 Million Estate Gift to Boost Sustainability

Published on: 1 May 2022 06:50 PM
by KnowESG

The late Charles S. Ackerman '55 left an estate donation of $11 million to the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School's Center for Sustainable Enterprise. The centre uses profitable business solutions to accelerate progress in social and environmental sustainability through education, research, outreach, and best practices. The Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability will be renamed in his honour.

The contribution will go toward the center's space in the new UNC Kenan-Flagler building and expand and enrich the campus. As a baseline for sustainability, the new building will fulfil LEED Gold criteria to achieve LEED Platinum.

Doug Shackelford, dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler, said:

"For over 20 years, our center has empowered students, faculty and business leaders to identify, create and deliver innovative, profitable business solutions while improving social equity and environmental integrity. This is a rare and transformational gift that will impact our students' lives and the organizations where they work.”

After serving in the United States Army, Ackerman moved to Atlanta in the 1950s. He established Ackerman & Co., one of the Southeast's leading full-service commercial real estate firms, there. With the creation of Tower Place in 1973, he is credited with helping shape Buckhead's skyline. He built more than 6 million square feet of business, retail, and residential developments in Atlanta and across the country during his lifetime.

Tracy Triggs-Matthews, associate director of the center, said:

"UNC Kenan-Flagler was the first mover among business schools to offer a comprehensive curriculum in sustainability in 1999 and today we are known for our innovative curriculum, relevant research and career development."

"When Mr Ackerman visited the School in 2011 we shared the full scope of our work – from teaching to extracurricular programs to research to stakeholder outreach – and how our graduates leave UNC Kenan-Flagler prepared to implement what they have learned to change the world and how our research can have an impact on the practice of business."

The Ackerman contribution was announced at the 2022 UNC Sustainability Awards on April 28 at the North Carolina Botanical Garden by UNC Kenan-Flagler.

The centre also celebrated the 2022 full-time MBA students who will graduate with a Sustainable Enterprise Concentration, as well as the company recipient of the UNC Sustainability Award and the Distinguished Alumni in Sustainability Award.

This donation will support the Carolina Campaign. The Drive for Carolina, the University's most ambitious fundraising campaign, began in October 2017 to achieve $4.25 billion by December 31, 2022.

Source: The University of North Carolina