Alumnus Robert A. Niblock, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., is donating $2.5 million to UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business.
His gift will support the Student Center for Professional Development in the Belk College, which will be named the Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development.
Niblock received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UNC Charlotte in 1984. “I am proud to call myself a UNC Charlotte alumnus, and I’m proud of my accounting degree from the Belk College of Business. I know that UNC Charlotte provides a quality education for students and I believe we have the opportunity to enhance that education with coaching and personal skills that can help ensure success. The Student Center provides another layer of preparation for students on top of the high-quality education, so that they are not only ready to graduate but also to excel professionally,” Niblock said.
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Dean Steven H. Ott announced the gift and naming of the center on Oct. 20, at UNC Charlotte’s Student Union, during the inaugural CEO Speaker Series presented by Niblock and organized by the Belk College of Business.
“Robert Niblock’s support will make a tremendous difference for our students. Many are first-generation college students, and many are working while studying in order to afford their education. Robert is giving back and providing students with personal and career guidance and resources that can prepare them for lifelong success,” Dubois said.
The center was established within the Belk College of Business in 2012 to help undergraduate business students discover, plan and achieve their career goals while building professional life-long competencies essential for success in the 21st century. With the new gift, the Center will expand its initiatives and become financially sustainable through the private funding of an endowment.
Ott said the gift will provide:
o Programming for a year of professional development for incoming freshmen named “The Niblock Freshman Year Experience;”
o Establishment of the Professional Development Training Program; and
o Establishment of the Leadership Development Training Program.
“Robert Niblock’s personal history empowers students with the idea that if they enroll in the Belk College, work hard and pursue their goals, they will also have the potential to achieve unlimited success. He is truly an inspiration to our students and our entire college,” said Dean Ott.
The center’s initial activities were made possible with seed money from the Belk Foundation and the MetLife Foundation, supplemented by gifts from alumni and friends including Mark and Susan Doughton and Mike Mulligan. Belk College state funds are also used to support the Center’s activities. These financial contributions have supported center creation, career special events and professional development outreach activities.
The Robert A. Niblock Student Center for Professional Development:
● Provides personalized coaching and support as students prepare for a career after graduating from UNC Charlotte;
● Encourages professional development and skill-building opportunities that engage students with business professionals and promote career success;
● Facilitates meaningful career connections between industry professionals and students in their search for quality internships and quality full-time positions; and
● Houses the Women in Business Initiative designed to promote the development of leadership skills for aspiring young women in the Belk College.