UNCW Receives Largest Corporate Gift Commitment in University History

Monday, May 01, 2017

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has received a $5 million gift commitment ($1 million per year over the next five years) from Quality Chemical Laboratories, and its founder Dr. Yousry Sayed and his wife Linda, the university announced today. This commitment will support the development of new programs related to pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry, building on the strengths of chemistry, biochemistry, biology and marine biology within the College of Arts and Sciences at UNCW.

The gift is the largest outright philanthropic commitment by a corporate donor in UNCW’s history. Dr. Sayed is a former UNCW administrator and a longtime faculty member, student mentor and campus volunteer. Mrs. Sayed graduated from UNCW in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and she earned a master’s degree in education in 1985. Dr. Sayed founded Quality Chemical in 1998 and serves as its president and CEO, while continuing to serve as an adjunct faculty member in the chemistry department.

"With this gift, Dr. and Mrs. Sayed are supporting the development of a critical new academic track, and also the aspirations of current and future Seahawks who are committed to advancing scientific research in our state and around the world," commented Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli. “This investment will allow UNCW to continue to grow as an institution and as a driver of economic development in the state, by virtue of the training and employment possibilities these new programs will create for our students.”

It is anticipated that the gift will be used to establish distinguished professorships and endowed support funds, potentially going toward student scholarships, instrumentation and equipment for faculty research, seminar series and travel opportunities.

"It is an honor to be able to make this small contribution to this great university we love and appreciate, and to invest in the future of this important area of study and the students we serve,” said Dr. Sayed. “My wife and I have been a part of the Seahawk family and have grown together with UNCW for decades, and to know we are contributing to the university’s mission and outcomes in some small way is very rewarding for us.”

Quality Chemical was founded to serve the pharmaceutical industry with expert scientific services that support all phases of drug research, development and commercialization. The company hires locally whenever possible and employs many UNCW graduates.

The Sayeds’ historic commitment reflects the generous spirit that exists among UNCW’s faculty and staff. During the current academic year, 36 percent of university employees have made a philanthropic contribution to UNCW, setting a record for participation. Their contributions total more than $190,000, effectively demonstrating that investments in the university are an important part of UNCW’s campus culture.

UNCW students, faculty and programs have marked the 2016-17 academic year with a number of milestone achievements. Five Seahawks were selected for Fulbright Awards, and the university was included in a $250 million public-private national initiative to bring safe drugs to market faster and educate a new biopharmaceutical workforce. UNCW was also among 11 universities featured in a U.S. Department of Education report highlighting best practices in increasing college completion rates. The Seahawk Club set a membership record and the men’s basketball team had a record-setting year that included winning three straight CAA regular season championships and two consecutive CAA Tournament titles, tying for the most CAA crowns in league history.