NC State Receives Largest-Ever Gift

December 17, 2010
By Cherry Crayton

Carol and Lonnie Poole (Photo courtesy of University Communications)

Carol and Lonnie Poole (Photo courtesy of University Communications)

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 is founder and chair of Raleigh-based Waste Industries.  In a 1992 NC State magazine profile, he talked about why he started the company:

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.

Read more about Poole and the gift here, here and here; and read our full profile of Poole, titled “One’s Man Trash,” below:

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2 Responses to “NC State Receives Largest-Ever Gift”

  1. Matt Glover says:

    Wow, what tremendous generosity from a man who obviously thinks of others when sharing what he has worked so hard to obtain. No matter what economic status people in this world reach, they can largely be divided into two categories, those that are givers and those that are takers. Mr. Poole in every aspect of his civic life, has certainly been a giver. And not only a role model for success, but a role model after success!

  2. John Concklin says:

    Incredible gift and both an inspiration and challenge to the rest of us to give whatever we can. Sincere thanks to Carol and Lonnie Poole.

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