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The University has received a $10 million gift commitment to UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center from an alumnus, who has two degrees from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, and his wife.
The gift from Ken ’70 (MSPH, ’76 DRPH) and Cheryl Williams of Burlington will support promising, leading-edge cancer research, enabling the center’s leadership to make timely investments in emerging, high-impact areas of cancer research. The couple have designated their gift for the Ken and Cheryl Williams Fund for Venture Initiatives at Lineberger, which is the state’s only public comprehensive cancer center.
“This is such a monumental gift, and I know that we will one day look back on it as a transformational moment in the history of this cancer center,” said Dr. Ned Sharpless ’88 (’93 MD), Lineberger’s director. “Their gift enables us to pursue research paths that we feel have the greatest potential to prevent cancer and benefit patients facing the disease. We are both humbled and energized to meet the challenge.”
“Cheryl and I believe in the importance of the work that is taking place here at UNC Lineberger,” said Ken Williams. ”The world-class research, the highest quality patient care – we know we’ve made a very wise investment in an organization that is dedicated to finding cures for this vicious disease. We have a high degree of trust and confidence in Dr. Ned Sharpless and future Lineberger leaders to understand best those emerging research opportunities that can make the greatest impact against cancer. And now, we just hope others will step up to the plate to do what they can to help eradicate cancer by supporting UNC Lineberger.”
Ken Williams served as senior vice president of Quintiles, a contract research organization headquartered in Durham, before retiring. Both of the Williamses have served on UNC’s Board of Visitors.