UNC: Profile in Giving 2011

Philip BlumbergAttending UNC is our family tradition. And a very good one; for three generations it’s the only university that all Blumberg family members have attended. And very proudly so,” said Philip Blumberg, chairman and CEO of Blumberg Capital Partners, a leading U.S. investment manager in real estate, commodities and infrastructure.

“Whenever my sons and I talk about campus life, it’s as if we are in one world. I can’t necessarily talk to them about latest pop culture or social media, but we can always talk about our experiences at UNC, as a shared experience that spans generations with the same qualities of academic, social and campus life,” he continued.

“And, speaking as an employer, UNC is one top institution we recruit at where the graduates are outstandingly qualified and, therefore, the value of a degree from UNC continues to appreciate.”

UNC had a major impact on his career and life, Blumberg said. After graduating with honors with a degree in business administration, he went on to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. But it’s Carolina that he feels shaped him.

“It was an incredibly enriching experience,” said Blumberg, who was on the UNC track team and the rugby club team, served as president of his fraternity, and an honor court judge.

Despite those activities, Blumberg said, “I am not typically a booster type, but my enthusiasm for UNC is unrestrained. The institution embodies academic excellence, a wonderful and diverse student body and campus experience.”

Blumberg said his admiration for UNC has only grown over the years. “I admire the institution for having evolved—keeping the great parts of what it was when I was there, but expanding on the diversity of programs, the quality of the physical campus and campus life and activity,” he said. So when he thought about giving back to UNC, he wanted his gift to benefit the whole institution. The Chancellor’s Unrestricted Fund provided the perfect match.

“As much as I’m a fan of Carolina, I don’t presume to know best where the most important needs are,” said Blumberg, who has also supported Kenan- Flagler Business School. “But the chancellor does. His priorities guide my view. So, the chancellor’s perspective on where to apply the funds is an important way for me to support the University.”

This respect, Blumberg added, applies to the Office of the Chancellor, and specifically to Chancellor Holden Thorp. “Holden has a bold vision for UNC to be a leading institution focused on entrepreneurial studies and green technology with an international emphasis,” he said. “All of these I completely support.”

“I was an admirer of Chancellor Taylor while I was a student, and I know from my sons the great things that Holden has done, and how involved he is with the students,” he continued. “I feel that, for me, giving this way is both relevant and very fitting.”

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