The UNC Charlotte School of Architecture has a new name, and its program will receive unprecedented support, thanks to a generous gift from alumnus David R. Ravin ’94. The gift will enhance the architectural program through supporting student opportunities such as study abroad, enhancing the visibility of the school and developing programs in innovative housing and development practices.
“I’m grateful to David Ravin for his generosity in supporting architecture students, now and for generations to come,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “His gift will strengthen and expand the quality and significance of design education at UNC Charlotte.”
Ravin is president and CEO of Northwood Ravin LLC, a leading full-service development, construction and property management firm and one of the Charlotte area’s largest commercial real estate developers. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a minor in geography from UNC Charlotte and went on to earn a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Real Estate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2011, he formed Ravin Partners LLC and soon joined forces with New York-based Northwood Investors. Focusing on developing, constructing and managing luxury for-rent and mixed-use housing, Northwood Ravin now employs more than 450 associates and has projects in five states, with offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Tampa, Florida. Recent local projects include a 15-story apartment building at 500 W. Trade St. in uptown Charlotte and Ballantyne Townhomes at Bridlestone, offering luxury townhomes for rent in Pineville. Other Charlotte properties include The VUE, Uptown 550, Providence Row and the Village at Commonwealth.
“To be able to give back to UNC Charlotte and the School of Architecture has always been important to me,” Ravin said. “When I first arrived as a freshman, I was blown away by the workload that we were assigned. However, it quickly tested everyone’s commitment to this path of study, and I am thankful to say I was all in. I was taking courses that truly interested me, and I was surrounded by classmates who shared my passion. After five years at UNC Charlotte, I was ready for anything. I went on to five different graduate programs and felt fully prepared for each. UNC Charlotte taught me how to learn, to be curious and open to new opportunities and gave me the self-confidence to take on most challenges. I look forward to seeing the School of Architecture continue to grow and educate students on how to realize their true potential, and I am happy to support that effort by giving back.”
The endowment for the School of Architecture is the most recent example of Ravin’s longtime support for his alma mater, which has included funding for 49er Athletics and for student scholarships across the University. In addition, NWR has supported programs in the College of Arts + Architecture, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Belk College of Business and the William States Lee College of Engineering. Ravin is a member of the advisory board for the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate.
“David Ravin has said that his experience in our architecture program taught him how to learn,” said Brook Muller, dean of the College of Arts + Architecture. “That says a lot, given David's educational pedigree. We extend our deep gratitude to David for ensuring that this profound learning experience continues for class after class of our motivated and talented design students. His commitment to the school will expand their opportunities and strengthen the school’s legacy in our community and beyond.”
UNC Charlotte’s David R. Ravin School of Architecture is recognized nationally for the outstanding quality of its faculty, alumni and students; its commitment to environmental stewardship, technological innovation and community engagement; and its significant impact on the Charlotte region.
“The School of Architecture’s greatest legacy is its alumni, who contribute to communities in Charlotte and all over the world,” said Blaine Brownell, director of the School of Architecture. “Coming from one of the program’s most successful graduates, David's investment is itself an example of that legacy and a testament to the caliber of architectural education at UNC Charlotte.”
Founded in 1971, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary in the 2021-22 academic year and has 2,500 alumni who make contributions to architecture and related disciplines in nearly 700 cities worldwide. More than 500 architecture alumni live and work in Charlotte, with the school represented in nearly every local design office.
The University will announce the David R. Ravin School of Architecture during a campus ceremony today.