CORRECTION: A previous version of this article ran with a headline that stated the donation received by Kenan-Flagler Business School was the largest single gift in the school's history. The donation is the largest single gift from an individual in the school's history. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
The University announced Tuesday that the Kenan-Flagler Business School will receive an $11 million donation — the largest single gift from an individual in the school’s history — to support construction of a new building in the hopes of growing their undergraduate business program by at least 50 percent.
The donation comes from Steve Bell, a Carolina alumnus and founder of an apartment investment and management company in Greensboro. He said investing in Kenan-Flagler will help the state’s economy in the long term.
“There are few things that I could do that would have a greater influence on our state than to help getting this business school expanded,” Bell said.
Roughly 800 students apply to the undergraduate business program each year, and acceptance typically hovers around 50 percent. According to University Communications, the program is currently at maximum capacity due to space constraints.
Doug Shackelford, dean of the business school, said that investing in a new building will allow the school’s undergraduate program to grow without affecting its prestige.
“The depth of the quality of the applications to the business school is extraordinary,” he said. “What’s really motivating us is the fact that we have so many students who come to Carolina — and as you know it's a great university, it’s difficult to get in to begin with — and many that come here want to study business, and unfortunately we just don't have enough seats.”
Max Sarafin, a junior in the business school, said he’s not worried about the school’s increased admission affecting its reputation.
“Kenan-Flagler is already plenty competitive,” Sarafin said. “Not only do you have to get into UNC, but you have to compete against other UNC students to get accepted. The applications are all similar; these are all high-achieving students applying.”