Chancellor Randy Woodson announced today that Lonnie Poole ’59 and his wife, Carol, have donated $40 million to NC State, making it the largest-ever gift to the university. The College of Management will receive $37 million and be renamed the Lonnie C. Poole Jr. College of Management, becoming the first named college at NC State.
Another $500,000 will fund the Carol Johnson Poole Endowment in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and $2.5 million will be used to build a clubhouse at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Centennial Campus. In February 2007, Poole also donated $3 million toward construction of the golf course, which opened in summer 2009. From University Communications:
“With this transformational gift, it’s a new day for NC State,” Woodson said. “Today, we send a signal to the rest of the state and to the country that NC State University is prepared to compete on the highest national levels. Donors like Lonnie and Carol Poole understand that this university can and will use their gifts to make a broad impact that is felt well beyond our campus.”
Poole’s reasons for starting [Waste Industries in 1970] are simple, and they remain at the heart of his company’s philosophy: ‘Live where you want to live, do what you like doing, with people you like doing it with.
‘They don’t teach you that in college. You have to have those three things to be happy. If you don’t have one of those things, you can’t be happy,’ said Poole.
In 1970, the Wake County native was living in Ohio and working as sales manager for Koehring Co. Having moved between California and Germany 23 times in 10 years, Poole realized he was not happy where he was living. He returned to his home with a five-year plan for starting a garbage business.