students walking

Unstoppable Momentum

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences challenges students to create a different space—one in which they interact with each other and with the world around them in new and exciting ways. They learn to balance abstract thought with pragmatic responsiveness. Students are challenged to think more broadly, more deeply and more independently than ever before. They gain the confidence to take risks and they learn to act compassionately by working alongside their professors and fellow students in the classroom, in laboratories and in the broader community. 

By investing in this college, you are touching the lives of virtually all students at the university and transforming the region and state through well-prepared future citizen-leaders—our students. With your investment, you leverage discovery for the public benefit through programs of research, creative activities and graduate education that span the disciplines. Join us in multiplying opportunity, resources, talent and impact through Exponential: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte, and discover the power of you.


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences: Give Now
Nancy Gutierrez

“Our college is a place of exploration and discovery, where we seek out and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and an expansive habit of mind that cross fields of inquiry. Our faculty and students cultivate connections and collaborations with local, regional, national and global communities to support our shared goals and to address societal issues. With your help, we can build a legacy of success.”

Nancy A. Gutierrez
Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

At the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, our disciplines are as diverse as our students. Our many departments, applied research centers and interdisciplinary programs unite behind the shared goal of educating critical and imaginative thinkers through inquiry and engagement. Our award-winning faculty create a collaborative culture with researchers across our campus and throughout the world to discover new ways of thinking and to deliver solutions in areas of greatest need. We encourage students to dream big, to challenge themselves, to take risks, to be successful. We cultivate leadership, self-confidence, connectivity and persistence. We support analytical and evaluative thinking skills, multicultural awareness and responsiveness to a world increasingly characterized by diversity and change. With your help, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences will sustain and strengthen our research community.

Student Success—$1 million

Scholarships provide the financial security of time—time to study instead of work, time to learn instead of worrying about how to pay for tuition, fees and books. Scholarships also provide access to study abroad programs and research experiences, which are critical for students’ growth as engaged global citizens. 

The transformational opportunities that occur when studying abroad are invaluable for all students. However, students from underrepresented populations make up only a small percentage of all study abroad program participants. One-fourth of the university’s new freshmen in 2014–2015 were African-American or Hispanic, and many were North Carolina residents who have never traveled outside the country or state. 

One way our college will address this gap is through the Harper-Thomas Legacy Endowment for Study Abroad. This endowment will be a perpetual merit-based award to support students’ international educational experiences, with preference given to self-identified first-generation college students from underrepresented populations.

LEADS Initiative—$1 million

Society needs liberal arts and sciences graduates who can think holistically and act pragmatically. Students must develop an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to translate knowledge into applicable skills to be successful in life after college. One way our college is addressing this need is through the LEADS initiative (Leadership-Entrepreneurship-Applied-Development-Skills).

Infused with a practical approach, LEADS will introduce students to new opportunities. Funding is needed to help students gain leadership skills through internships, integrative learning, and education abroad and other international experiences.

Botanical Gardens Welcome Center—$2.5 million (First Phase)

For 50 years, the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens has been a living classroom for students and a horticultural and botanical asset for the campus and greater community. To sustain the future of the gardens, including its educational curriculum and ongoing research, the college seeks private funding to build a new welcome center that will serve as a gateway to the green heart of UNC Charlotte’s campus. This sustainable facility will draw students, faculty, staff and the public to an open and inviting teaching facility, working greenhouse and surrounding plaza. 

Graduate Student Support—$1 million

Graduate students expand the work of faculty and contribute to the success of undergraduate students in their roles as mentors and instructors. Support for graduate students helps fund their research and cover educational expenses. Our college competes with other research universities that offer full funding to attract outstanding, intellectually curious graduate students. Unfortunately, we are severely constrained by a lack of resources when competing for top talent. 

The Buchenau-Pharr Graduate Research Award is an example of a fellowship that helps graduate students fulfill their research obligations by funding domestic and international research travel. The award was created through donations from intellectual salons hosted by community members Carol and Henry Pharr II and Jürgen Buchenau, chair of the History Department.

Endowed Professorships—$4 million

Endowed professorships directly impact the college’s effectiveness in attracting and retaining exceptional faculty. With the prestige and additional resources that endowed professorships offer, the college can compete more effectively for high-caliber students, additional grant funding and collaborative partnerships. Students benefit from taking classes and conducting research with these dynamic faculty members. 

Endowed professorships in the natural sciences and mathematics are especially critical to UNC Charlotte’s leadership role in many research areas—big data, disease, energy, the sustainability of the world’s natural resources, next-generation optics and other critical areas.

Mount Zion Project—$4.5 million

The Mount Zion project is an archaeological excavation in the ancient city of Jerusalem.  UNC Charlotte is the only American university currently licensed to carry out such excavations in Jerusalem.  At the heart of the undertaking is an accredited two-week summer study-abroad program consisting of archaeological fieldwork, lectures and specially guided tours of the area. The future of Mount Zion depends on expanding our excavations, publishing the scientific study and analysis of the objects discovered at the sites, transforming the initial dig site into an archaeological park, and developing the Armenian Museum to use as an operational headquarters.