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A Quality Connection: UNCW Supported by Generosity of Sayeds

Yousry and Linda Sayed
Yousry and Linda Sayed

It’s been said if you want to help the world, start with science. 

Five years ago, UNCW received what was then the largest outright philanthropic commitment by a corporate donor in the university’s history. The $5 million gift commitment ($1 million per year over five years) was made by Quality Chemical Laboratories on behalf of founder Dr. Yousry Sayed and wife Linda ’78, ’85M to support the development of new programs related to pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry. 

A current member of the UNCW Board of Trustees, Dr. Sayed has an extensive connection to UNCW. Prior to founding QCL in 1998, he served as an academic administrator and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As UNCW’s Director of General College (now University Studies), he helped improve academic advising efforts, increasing retention and graduation rates.  

Since 2005, Ms. Sayed has been a partner at Block, Crouch, Keeter, Behm & Sayed, LLP. She previously practiced as an associate attorney with Ward & Smith, P.A. Before becoming an attorney, she taught chemistry at John T. Hoggard High School and UNCW and was an assistant principal with New Hanover County Schools. In 1998, she earned a J.D. from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University and was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar. She is one of UNCW’s spring 2023 commencement speakers. 

The Sayeds have three children and eight grandchildren.  

According to Dr. Jeremy Morgan, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry, the Sayeds’ gift has been tremendously valuable in the growth of the department’s efforts in pharmaceutical chemistry, endowing funds to support undergraduate scholarships, internships, graduate fellowships, post-doctoral scholars and instrumentation, as well as funding two new distinguished professorships.  

Dr. R. Thomas Williamson ’94, ’96M, a former student of Dr. Sayed, was hired as the Yousry Sayed Distinguished Professor in 2018 and has guided the process of establishing UNCW’s Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In August, Dr. Andy Andrews joined the department as the Linda Sayed Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The gift has also supported the Sayed Lecture Series.