Check back for regular updates on Art Pope’s philanthropic activities.
The Pope Foundation is unique among philanthropies in the Tar Heel State: Rather than fund liberal social causes, the foundation supports conservative ideas and institutions. Triangle Business Journal picks up on that theme in this article:
When he walks into a room full of North Carolina foundation officials, says David Riggs, vice president of operations and programs for the John William Pope Foundation, he feels out of place.
While many foundations in the state with comparable or greater assets often invest in liberal social agendas, the $140 million-asset Pope Foundation aggressively promotes conservative causes.
“We believe that market processes and the free-enterprise system allow people to help themselves, to grow and prosper how they best think and feel they can,” says Riggs, an economist.
Chaired by Art Pope, a businessman and political powerbroker whose father founded Variety Wholesalers, the discount retailer that is the source of its philanthropic assets, the foundation granted $10.8 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, mainly for operating support.
Campbell University’s new convocation center in Buies Creek, North Carolina, is due in large part to the generosity of the John William Pope Foundation.
To honor the life of John William Pope Jr., who passed away in 2004, the Pope Foundation made a five-year commitment totaling $4.5 million to help construct the center. Campbell University has the details in this press release:
The state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility will seat about 3,100 spectators for athletic events and up to 5,000 for special events such as concerts, graduation activities and other community gatherings. In addition to the main arena, the center includes a student fitness center, training and weight rooms, practice facility, sport locker rooms, athletic offices, a hospitality room, labs and classrooms for the exercise science department and the Campbell Sports Hall of Fame. The center will also house the volleyball and wrestling teams.
The university expects the center to benefit Campbell athletics fans, students who use the facilities and the residents of Buies Creek and Harnett County. The building is one of the largest constructed in Harnett county and has become a symbol of pride for the area. Campbell has already committed to holding graduation ceremonies for Harnett County public schools.
John William Pope Jr. graduated from Campbell in 1975. The Foundation’s gift was made in his memory.
“My brother, John, loved athletics and our family is honored to be a part of this world-class facility,” said Art Pope.
Duke Today reports on the arrival of a new academic center on Duke University’s campus devoted to studying the historical juncture between politics and economics. The academic center was made possible by grants from the John William Pope Foundation:
The current economic turbulence has prompted news reports filled with terms such as fiscal stimulus, monetary policy and market stabilization. Such concepts are easy to take for granted, but they represent ideas developed and debated about over the last 300 years. A new center at Duke studies the history of these economic theories.
“We have these popular images and sound bites about what famous economists like Adam Smith and Karl Marx thought, but what were they really saying, in the context of the time that they were saying it?” said Bruce Caldwell, the director of the newly created Center for the History of Political Economy (HOPE) at Duke. “Typically, many of the issues that they viewed as important then are issues that are being debated, albeit perhaps in different ways, today.”
For students, Caldwell said the study of the history of economics can be a link between the technical study of economics and a broader liberal arts education.
Art Pope joined other philanthropists and community leaders on a sunny day in 2006 in Buies Creek, North Carolina, to break ground on the Campbell University convocation center named after his late brother, John.
Campbell has more details in a press release:
Campbell University celebrated the groundbreaking for the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center September 1st. Donors, administrators, and community leaders took up ceremonial gold shovels to turn the dirt at the site, located near the intersection of Main Street and Leslie Campbell Avenue.
The 109,000 square foot facility is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2008. It will house a 3,000 seat arena, Sports Hall of Fame lobby, hospitality suite, practice gymnasium, wrestling practice room, and basketball-volleyball-wrestling offices and locker rooms. There will also be a 5,000 square foot student fitness center with a stand alone entrance for student convenience.
A project anticipated for decades, the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center will replace the 900 seat Carter gymnasium. Campbell University officials say the state-of-the-art facility will be a major recruitment tool for students and student athletes.
The John William Pope Foundation gave $4.5 million in grants over a five-year period to fund the center.
Since 2004, the John William Pope Foundation has invested heavily in a program at N.C. State University “to support teaching and research activities on issues relating to public policy, politics, economics, and law.”
This press release from N.C. State announces a new five-year commitment from the Pope Foundation totaling $700,000:
The funding is an extension of a previous grant from the Pope Foundation, and will continue to fund the university’s “Economic, Legal and Political Foundations of Free Societies” project – which includes a lecture series, undergraduate courses and research grants for students and faculty. The grant will also continue to support the student organization, the Society for Politics, Economics and the Law.
However, the new grant provides new funding for visiting scholars, project enrichment materials and administrative support. The grant was awarded jointly to the Department of Economics in NC State’s College of Management and the School of Public and International Affairs’ Department of Political Science in the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The grant provides $140,000 for the project each year, and runs from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2014.
To learn more about the Pope Foundation’s support for this project, check out our grantee profile.