The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Free-Standing BCC Closer to Reality After Donation

NFL player and University alumnus Jimmy Hitchcock gave $150,000 for the cultural center and will have a room named for him.

The donation by Jimmy Hitchcock, a cornerback on the Carolina Panthers football team, will help pay for the construction of the 44,500-square-foot cultural center, which is slated to begin in March 2002.

The gift was one of the five largest received by the University for the center. Last April, Tim Cobb gave the largest gift, $500,000, for the construction of a 400-seat theater.

"I have been fortunate, and giving back (to UNC) is something I have always wanted to do," said Hitchcock, who graduated in 1994. Hitchcock will have a multipurpose room named after him in honor of his gift.

The BCC opened in 1988 and is located in the Student Union. The UNC Board of Trustees approved a free-standing BCC in 1993 after adamant protests but said supporters would have to raise all the money themselves through private donations.

BCC Director Joseph Jordan said Hitchcock's donation will inspire other students, especially athletes, to give back to their alma mater. "It validates our approach to dealing with students on campus," Jordan said. "By treating them with respect, down the line it will reap benefits. He is not just donating money, he is showing his social conscience about important issues."

While on campus in the early 1990s, Hitchcock played an important role in the approval of the free-standing BCC. Recruiting other black athletes, Hitchcock formed the Black Awareness Council to raise recognition of the need for a separate building. The athletes' activism received national media attention, and Hitchcock and others spoke at campuses across the nation.

"I thought it was important for different people to learn about each other's culture," said Hitchcock, who is in his seventh NFL season. "It was a long struggle (to get the center), and it feels good to give back to a cause I fought for."

With the fund raising for construction complete, Jordan said he is looking forward to beginning construction.

The building plan has been submitted to University officials, and the two groups are completing design modifications to meet the University's criteria.

After the building design, the next step toward construction is the bid process for a contractor, which will begin in January.

Once construction begins, Jordan said it will take anywhere between 18 and 24 months for the building, to be located behind the Bell Tower in Coker Woods, to be completed.

In the mean time, BCC officials said, they will continue to raise money to fund programs, endowments and fellowships for students and faculty.

"Everything is going according to plan," Jordan said. "But there are all kinds of things that can happen in the future."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Year in Review Issue