UNCW Honors Yousry and Linda Sayed for Largest Corporate Gift to the University

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

UNCW honored Quality Chemical Laboratories founder Dr. Yousry Sayed and his wife Linda during a special reception held May 1 to recognize their record-setting contribution to the university.

The university has received a $5 million gift commitment – $1 million per year for the next five years – from Quality Chemical Laboratories to support the development of new programs related to pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry. The gift is the largest outright philanthropic commitment by a corporate donor in UNCW’s history.

“We are trying to plant a seed to make sure we establish programs that will benefit the area, the state and the students who graduate from this university,” Dr. Sayed said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to make that happen.”

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 Laboratories in 1998 and serves as its president and CEO, while continuing to serve as an adjunct faculty member in the chemistry and biochemistry department.

“I am a very proud person today; a proud Seahawk, a proud wife and proud to be able to do this for UNCW because, without UNCW, we may not be here,” said Linda Sayed.

UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli presented a copper Seahawk to the Sayeds in recognition of their tremendous commitment to the university.

“The legendary scientist Albert Einstein is a hero of mine. He once said, ‘It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it,’’’ said Chancellor Sartarelli. “Yousry and Linda, on behalf of a grateful university, I want to thank you for putting more into UNCW than you received from this great place.”

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.

“The gift that Dr. Sayed is bestowing to UNCW and its students, to help develop programs in pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry, is a transformational gift, and its impact cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Aswani Volety, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It will help us develop the human and physical infrastructure to create the next generation of scientists and provide skillsets that will help garner high-paying jobs.”

The Sayeds’ generosity will support local industries by enabling UNCW graduates to remain in the Cape Fear Region, contributing to the cultural and economic vitality of the community, Volety added.

Quality Chemical Laboratories 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.

- Venita Jenkins