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Pope Foundation gives $3 million to UNC

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Holden Thorp

Holden Thorp

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh has given $3 million to improve facilities that provide academic support to student athletes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The gift will fund a new 29,000-square-foot home for the John W. Pope Student-Athlete Academic Support Center that will be part of a renovation of Kenan Stadium.

The original center, which opened in 1986 and also was funded by the Pope Foundation, was less than one-third the size of the new center and was located in the stadium’s previous field house.

The new center will serve nearly 800 student athletes in 28 sports at the university and will include classrooms for teaching and tutoring; advanced computer technology; a writing lab; and reading rooms and office space.

“We’re committed to giving our student athletes the support they need to succeed in the classroom as well as in their sport,” UNC Chancellor Holden Thorpe, says in a statement. “This new center will epitomize that commitment.”

The center also will house the Carolina Leadership Academy, which offers leadership training to student athletes, coaches and staff at UNC.

The center is named for the late John W. Pope Sr., a 1947 UNC graduate who started Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers and founded the Pope Foundation.

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