Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber was the featured speaker at the Salisbury Rotary Club Tuesday, June 15, where she shared plans to expand UNC Charlotte’s positive impact in the region.
“We are uniquely positioned to address the complex challenges and opportunities facing our dynamic region,” said Gaber.
Last fall, UNC Charlotte’s enrollment exceeded 30,000 students for the first time, demonstrating its commitment to improving the state by providing accessible, affordable and life-changing opportunities to its people. More than 70% of UNC Charlotte’s graduates choose to stay in the Charlotte area, allowing more than 50% of the University’s 150,00 alumni to call the region home.
Gaber also talked about the strong partnerships the University has in Rowan County, with an emphasis on education initiatives. The University is one of the top three producers of K-12 teachers in North Carolina, with 200 of those educators teaching in Rowan County.
The University’s 49erNext program seeks to make the transition to UNC Charlotte seamless by offering joint advising, coordinated financial aid processes, career guidance and opportunities to develop financial literacy skills. The 49erNext program will formally kick off its partnership with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at a signing ceremony later this month.
Gaber reported there are 2,934 UNC Charlotte graduates living in Rowan County. That’s one of the reasons why Rowan County Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding views the college, located just 30 minutes away from Salisbury, as an important part of the county’s ability to attract talent.
“UNC Charlotte has a huge economic impact,” said Spalding, current president of the Salisbury Rotary Club. “You have international students; you have students that come from all other parts of the country, and they may take a drive into Rowan County and say this is where I want to be.”
Gaber ended her remarks to the Salisbury Rotary, reinforcing UNC Charlotte’s commitment to being an innovation and research hub for the region.
“Great universities not only impart knowledge, they also generate new information and that can improve life for generations to come,” she said.