The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday March 23rd

UNC business school severs ties with Habitat for Humanity

Tom Cawley, director of events at the business school, said many considerations went into this decision.

“It wasn’t more about a breaking up or anything like that. It was just the relationship changing,” he said.

The business school is trying to evaluate what kinds of community service it will organize in the future.

Cawley said community is a core value of the business school and that there is a community service committee working to decide the future of the community component and future philanthropic directions.

“We’re looking at this right now as far as how do we get everyone behind an effort, and what should that effort look like, and kind of the philosophy of it and everything like that,” he said.

Cawley said there was not one main reason why the partnership with Habitat for Humanity was ended, nor did anyone do anything wrong. He said the partnership has progressed, and different considerations, such as location of builds, resources and diverse philanthropic interests, led them to this decision.

“It’s a great organization, and what they do is amazing. We formed some great relationships with the people who’ve had the houses over the years,” Cawley said.

“It’s one of the privileges we had as a group was meeting these families every year and taking faculty, staff and students out to these dedications. It was amazing and very emotional — very powerful.”

The business school won’t forget the time and effort they spent working with Habitat, Cawley said. More than 2,800 faculty, staff and student volunteers worked over 333,000 hours at job sites.

Julia Buchanan, co-chairwoman of UNC Habitat for Humanity, said in an email that she is not as familiar with the relationship between the business school and the Orange County affiliate. She said UNC Habitat and the business school have separate partnerships with the Orange County affiliate.

Alice Jacoby, partnership and volunteer manager for Habitat of Humanity for Orange County, said the nonprofit has had nothing but a positive relationship working with the business school, and that students, including business school majors, are still involved with Habitat.

“We’re very grateful to Kenan-Flagler. They’ve sponsored 10 houses with us, and up to 10 families were able to buy a house they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” she said.

“It’s always encouraging to see the business school — and so many students at UNC in general — just give so much of their time. It’s been a great relationship and you know, like I said, we look forward to working with them again in future years.”


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