UNC-Chapel Hill announces $18 million donation for entrepreneurship studies

UNC-Chapel Hill will double the size of its undergraduate entrepreneurship program with an $18 million donation from a family of UNC graduates, the university announced Tuesday.

The gift from the Shuford family of Hickory is the largest single donation to UNC-CH’s College of Arts and Sciences. It will support entrepreneurship courses and 70 student internships with companies worldwide, along with entrepreneurs-in-residence, faculty fellow positions and a lecture series. The college’s minor of study will be named the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. The program will be beefed up with new faculty and administrators.

The entrepreneurship program at the university has been gaining ground in training liberal arts and science majors to start businesses. It was created in 2004, and since then 800 students have graduated with minors in entrepreneurship. All students who pursue the minor have to complete an internship.

The Shuford family has a history of five generations at the university, starting with Abel Alexander Shuford Jr., who was in the class of 1900. His great-grandchildren, Jim Shuford and Stephen Shuford, both of Charlotte, and Dorothy Shuford Lanier, of Bedford, N.Y., made the donation. Jim Shuford is CEO of STM Industries, and Stephen Shuford is CEO of Shurtape Technologies.

Shurtape, with 800 employees in North Carolina, is a global manufacturing company that produces adhesive tapes under brands such as Shurtape, Duck, FrogTape, T-Rex and Kip. It was created in 1955 as a division of the Shuford Mills textile company.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill