Carolina 225

The Transcendent Joy of Philanthropy

"It's a thrill for the two of us to experience what I call 'the transcendent joy of philanthropy'..."

"It's a thrill for the two of us to experience what I call 'the transcendent joy of philanthropy'..."

“It’s a thrill for the two of us to experience what I call ‘the transcendent joy of philanthropy’… In our own philanthropy over the years, I feel like we made a number of significant gifts. They felt significant to us at the time, but as I reflected up on them, I realized that too often our giving was designed to be large enough so that the recipient would be grateful.

But maybe we could have and should have done more… So this time, we tested that.

We knew we had the means, but did we have the courage to really go the extra mile and do something a little bolder, a little more imaginative?… and that’s when we really experienced the joy of philanthropy, where you really find yourself in a place that you didn’t expect to be. Once you do it, it’s incredibly liberating… I hope that many of your will take up this challenge, this opportunity as you consider your own philanthropy.”

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This is story number 61 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

As part of the launch of “For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina,” Carolina alumni John and Marree Townsend made a $50 million gift to the University. Comprising current and deferred funding and gifts-in-kind, their commitment provides $25 million in works of art to the Ackland Art Museum; $10 million to the College of Arts & Sciences, including an initial commitment to the Institute for the Arts and Humanities; $10 million to the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School; a gift of more than one $1 million to Carolina Athletics; and a portion to be allocated at a later date.

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