Business School Set to Expand With Gift

The $11 million commitment was made by Steve Bell ’67 in collaboration with his wife, Jackie Bell.

The Kenan-Flagler Business School is planning a building expansion that will enable it to grow its undergraduate program by at least 50 percent, supported by the school’s largest-ever gift from an individual.

The $11 million commitment was made by longtime Carolina supporter Steve Bell ’67 in collaboration with his wife, Jackie Bell.

Since the business school relocated from Carroll Hall on Polk Place to the McColl Building on the far south side of the campus in 1997, the growth of degree programs has outpaced the structure. In 2020, one year after Kenan-Flagler celebrated its centennial anniversary, the Undergraduate Business Program reached the maximum number of students it can enroll while maintaining the quality of the program due to space constraints.

Consistently ranked a top 10 program in the U.S., Kenan-Flagler is able to accept only half of its undergraduate applicants each year. This gift also will help alleviate other space challenges and benefit learning for students in the MBA, master of accounting and doctoral programs.

Seventy percent of students in Kenan-Flagler’s undergraduate program stay in the state or ultimately return to North Carolina.

Bell’s gift builds on an initial $1 million investment from the N.C. General Assembly in 2017 to support the selection of a design team and the start of building programming and design for the project, which received an additional $10 million commitment from another donor.

Steve Bell has supported Carolina and the business school through his expertise and generosity for many years. He has served on the board of advisers, helped create the Steven D. Bell and Leonard W. Wood Distinguished Professorship in Real Estate and supported the Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies and the Family Enterprise Center. He also supported the expansion of the Rizzo Center, where Kenan-Flagler prepares business people and organizations from around the world.

Bell grew up in Raleigh and founded his apartment investment and management company, Bell Partners, in Greensboro.


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