David McNelis (Ph.D. ’74) and his wife Gladys Hau McNelis have made a $6 million estate gift to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including support for the Campaign for Carolina. Once realized, the gift will fund initiatives in the UNC Institute for the Environment, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program. These endowments will help fund seed grants for cancer researchers, term professorships to help with faculty retention, graduate fellowships through interdisciplinary environmental collaborations and undergraduate scholarships.
Within the Institute, the McNelises’ endowment will establish Distinguished Professorships in the Environment. These endowed term faculty chairs will be used to attract or retain top faculty working in environment and sustainable energy.
The gift will also establish the Gladys H. and David N. McNelis Graduate Fellowships to support interdisciplinary collaboration between the Institute and the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. The fellowship will assist graduate students doing research related to the environment with tuition and interdisciplinary mentoring support.
It will also establish the Timothy Robert McNelis, son of David and Gladys, Seed Grants for Head and Neck Cancer Research at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. It will make it possible for the investigators to conduct world-class cancer research and provide outstanding clinical care for their patients.
Finally, the endowment will benefit the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program and provide an opportunity for students, regardless of background, to pursue fields in STEM.
David is a graduate of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and serves as joint research faculty with the Institute for the Environment and the Department.