Spangler Boosts Professorships With UNC System Endowment

During his tenure as UNC System president, C.D. Spangler ’54 had the habit of donating his salary to the University system. Now, 10 years after he left the job, he is still giving.

In May, the C.D. Spangler Foundation made a donation of $26.9 million to help create as many as 96 endowed professorships across the 16 universities. Endowed professorships are used to promote and attract faculty who are leaders in their fields. The first one at Carolina will be established in the School of Education.

In 2007, the foundation has committed to provide $6.9 million – the full private funding required to endow one distinguished professorship on every UNC campus. Beginning in 2008, it will invest up to $20 million over five years to help each campus qualify for one additional endowed chair each year – 80 more professorships in all.

“This effort on the part of my family is intended to retain, reward and recruit good professors. We hope there will be positive results,” said Spangler, who served as UNC System president from 1986 to 1997.

The donation could increase the number of distinguished professorships in the UNC System by nearly one-third.

“The Spangler Foundation has offered this university – and this state – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said current UNC System President Erskine Bowles ’67. “It will allow all 16 of our university campuses to attract and retain the kind of talent we just can’t afford with state funding alone.”

State funding still will play a part, as the gift is reliant on the N.C. General Assembly providing state matching funds totaling $4.6 million annually through the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.

Spangler stipulated that the professorships will not bear his name or the name of anyone in his family and that they will be in the high-need fields of teacher education, engineering, nursing, and the traditional arts and sciences.

Related coverage is available online:

  • Leaving a Good Citizen: As he prepared to step down after 11 years as president of the UNC System, C.D. Spangler ’54 reflected on the state of public education in the nation and North Carolina and his role in education over the years. 
    From the July/August 1997 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to Carolina Alumni members.
  • Four Receive Highest Honor From GAA For Service to UNC
    C.D. Spangler ’54 was among the recipients of the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2006.
    News report from May 2006.

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