Bank of America has stepped up big. The Charlotte-based bank has committed $1.5 million to support research in the Data Science Initiative and sponsor a series of marquee lectures. The gift is part of the University’s $200 million fundraising effort, “Exponential: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte.”
UNC Charlotte is at the center of the data science revolution – this game-changing contribution propels the University's efforts further, establishing an endowed fund and an Endowed Chair in Security Analytics. The gift also sponsors the “UNC Charlotte Civic Series” presented by Bank of America, which includes the Chancellor's Speaker Series, the Barnhardt Seminar on Ethics and the TIAA Lecture.
On hand to showcase the caliber of the speaker series were a pair of local legends. The University hosted a discussion between Bank of America Chief Operations and Technology Officer Cathy Bessant and noted author and producer of the television series “Bones,” Kathy Reichs. Bessant is a member of UNC Charlotte’s Board of Trustees, and Reichs is a professor in the Anthropology Department at UNC Charlotte. Though Reichs' schedule has kept her from the University of late, she said she’d consider coming back to teach in the future.
(Chancellor Dubois, Lisa Dubois, Cathy Bessant, Kathy Reichs and Charles Bowman)
Bessant helped the audience distinguish between the speakers as Cathy with a “C” and Kathy with a “K.” The two discussed science, forensic anthropology and the rise of women in the STEM fields. Reichs shared her experiences on recovery projects such as Hurricane Katrina and the World Trade Center, and how science education has influenced her work.
"Bank of America is pleased to build upon its longstanding partnership with UNC Charlotte,” said Bank of America Charlotte Market President Charles Bowman. “The University is central to Charlotte’s role as a hub for innovation, a center for civic engagement, and a region focused on leading the way in information technology.”
In recognition of Bank of America’s gift, the second-floor central event space at UNC Charlotte Center City was named the “Bank of America Atrium.” This is a space for the University and greater Charlotte communites to gather to exchange ideas and celebrate innovations.
(Charles Bowman, Bank of America Charlotte Market President)
Want to see more? Check out all the event photos here.