Methodist University Announces $1 Million Gift from Terri Union and Carlos Zukowski

FAYETTEVILLE, NC—Methodist University is pleased to announce that Terri Union and Carlos Zukowski have donated $1 million to Methodist University in support of a Judaic studies endowment and the fine arts. The gift was announced on Wednesday, April 16 at annual Awards Convocation.

The gift will support three distinct projects. The Union-Zukowski Judaic Studies Endowment will provide funding for guest lecturers, programs on international issues (symposiums, concerts, and theater productions), mission trips, art exhibitions, and visits to historic sites such as the Holocaust Museum.

The main lobby of the Reeves Fine Arts Building will be renamed the Union-Zukowski Lobby and Gallery. The lobby and gallery will connect the renovated Huff Concert Hall with the new World Ministry Center and serve as a site for receptions and gatherings prior to performances and services. The area will also serve as a gallery to display works of art, including those of students, faculty, and visiting artists.

The Union-Zukowski Endowed Professorships in the Fine Arts will support three endowed professorships which will not only allow the University to recognize outstanding teaching and scholarship, but also attract exceptional faculty to Methodist University.

“At Methodist, we define excellence in terms of signature people, signature programs, and signature facilities,” said Dr. Ben E. Hancock Jr., Methodist University President. “Two signature people who have meant so much to the University and the greater Fayetteville community are Terri Union and Carlos Zukowski. Their gift shows their commitment in support of the arts and cultural opportunities for our students and faculty. The creation of the Union-Zukowski Judaic Studies Endowment as part of our Center for Global Education will foster awareness and understanding.”

The Rev. Dr. Mike Safley, Vice President of University Relations and Campus Ministry, said he looks forward to the new experiences that the Judaic Studies Endowment will make possible for Methodist University students.

“As we celebrate and affirm our Methodist heritage, we acknowledge that learning from all religions and cultures strengthens each of us along our spiritual journey,” Safley said. “Methodist University is an international campus. It is important that we learn to grow in our own faith as well as dialogue with others.”

Safley’s sentiment is shared by Dr. J.R. Hustwit, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion and faculty sponsor of the Interfaith Council at Methodist University at Methodist University.

“Methodist University’s Christian identity suggests we care for our neighbors as ourselves,” Hustwit said. “We share with our Jewish neighbors a rich tradition, and common roots in the Abrahamic story. As People of the Book, we are honored to be entrusted with this important responsibility.”

Terri Union and Carlos Zukowski have been strong supporters of Methodist University for many years. They have supported the annual Loyalty Day campaign for student scholarships, and have shown their support of the fine arts through the William F. Bethune Center for Visual Arts and the David McCune International Art Gallery.

“We are pleased to give back to our community by supporting Methodist University with this gift to create the Judaic Studies Endowment and funding that supports the arts, two of our passions,” said Union. “We hope this gift will enhance a fine university and bring more understanding.”

Union was an active member of the Methodist University Board of Trustees from 1987 to 2009. She continues to serve the University as a Trustee Emeritus and as a member of the Lura S. Tally Leadership Board. She was named the Methodist College Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 1992 and also recognized in 2012 for her dedication and service when she received the University Medallion.

This gift from Union and Zukowski is one of several major gifts recently received through the “The Campaign for Methodist University – Building Excellence.” The university launched the public phase of campaign at a kick-off event in Fayetteville in February after months of private fundraising.

In March, the university announced that more than $25 million has been raised towards the campaign goal of $35 million, or more than 72 percent of the campaign goal. The campaign is the largest fundraising initiative in Methodist University’s history.

The campaign will fund scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs, campus life enhancements, new and renovated academic buildings, and six new and expanded athletic facilities.

For more information on the Reeves Fine Arts Building or other campaign projects, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (910) 630-7200.

Methodist University is an independent four-year institution of higher education with over 2,400 students from 41 states and 53 countries. Methodist University offers over 80 majors and concentrations, 100 clubs and organizations, four master’s degree programs, and 20 NCAA III intercollegiate sports. To learn more about Methodist University, please visit methodist.edu or facebook.com/MethodistUniversity.

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