Honoring Miss Bonnie

Bonnie E. Cone, or Miss Bonnie as she was affectionately known, was a woman whose dedication and determination launched a University. UNC Charlotte could not, and would not, be what it is today without Cone's vision and dedication.

Miss Bonnie’s spirit lives on in the students, faculty, staff members and alumni of UNC Charlotte. But an exceptional community truly help keep her legacy alive: The Bonnie E. Cone Society. This special group of friends have named the UNC Charlotte Foundation as the beneficiary of a planned gift. Commonly donated through wills or trusts, planned gifts also can include charitable gift annuities or gifts of life insurance.

Bonnie E. Cone Society Luncheon

UNC Charlotte recently brought this group together to thank them for their generosity and demonstrate how their gifts strengthen and advance the University. Gifts have established student scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and enhanced the campus experience and impactful research initiatives. The University is in the midst of its largest capital campaign in history, EXPONENTIAL, which underscores why such support is even more crucial and impactful. 

Vivian and Frank Yao

Guests were treated to a presentation by Heather Perry, a UNC Charlotte history professor. Perry shared some of the unique ways that she engages her students – including assigning them avatars, or specific identities, to help bring history to life. Perry says she is inspired by Miss Bonnie's legacy to seek creative ways to inspire her students to become personally active within their community. 

(Vivian and Frank Yao, new Cone Society members, proudly sign the Bonnie E. Cone register.) 


Provost Joan Lorden welcomed the group: “As members of the Cone Society, you are shaping the future of UNC Charlotte. You enable us to hire senior faculty who bring expertise and leadership. You help provide fellowships that enable us to recruit graduate students from around the world. You support our students, so many who would not be here except for the generosity of others. I know you are in this room because you value quality educational experiences.”

(Pictured: Provost Joan Lorden)

It was often said that Miss Bonnie converted a shoestring and a ball of twine into a university. She believed that fundraising must be an educational priority, and she made her own planned gift bequest to UNC Charlotte. This monetary support was in addition to her lifetime of gifts bestowed upon the University, including her indomitable energy and courage.   

Dennis and Kathy Bunker

Many know that on her desk Miss Bonnie kept a special saying from Edward Everett Hale – words that she modeled her life after. “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the Grace of God, I will do.”

To learn more about joining the Bonnie E. Cone Society, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (704) 687-8003.

(Cone Society members Kathy & Dennis Bunker, '81)