Lonnie Poole

Why did Lonnie Poole give this generous gift to his alma mater, North Carolina State University? It has to do with what Mr. Poole stands for and what he saw in the college. Mr. Poole understands business, entrepreneurship, sustainability, and ethics ... principles by which he has lived his entire life. He also understands NC State University.

When he decided to make a significant gift to the university, Mr. Poole wanted to support a program that would have an impact on the future of business. He chose to support the university’s relatively young College of Management, created in 1992, because of what the college’s dean, Ira Weiss, and the university’s chancellor, Randy Woodson, saw for its future. “Three things really intrigued me,” Lonnie Poole said. “They wanted more focus on entrepreneurial development. And they wanted more of an environmental focus, and sustainability.” As an entrepreneur who became a leader in environmentally responsible waste management, Lonnie Poole connected with that vision.

The Poole family celebrates receiving the Watauga medal in 2008: (L to R) son, Scott, and wife, Zan; Carol and Lonnie; son, Ven and wife, Lisa. Lonnie and Carol have six grandchildren: Chelsea, Craven, Caroline, Scott, Brynnan, and Ruffin.

Note from Dean Weiss Regarding the Lonnie Poole Gift

Defining the future of business

Lonnie Poole’s gift is a tremendous testament to the faculty that has built the college’s reputation for providing a real world education for today’s technology-driven global marketplace. This endowment assures vital support in three key areas: scholarships and fellowships, faculty support and recruitment, and sustainability. 

Student Support

From its start in 1992, the college has stressed practical applied learning and teamwork. In their practicum classes and internships, students – often working in cross-disciplinary teams - learn to define problems and provide solutions for real companies as they hone their research, management, communication, and leadership skills. A growing numbers of our students are doing this in a global setting, studying business abroad through our partnerships with leading international business schools. And we’re excited to see how many of our students and alumni are taking what they’ve learned in their classrooms and launching their own companies. Scholarships and fellowships supported by the Poole gift will enable us to help more students achieve their academic and career goals. 

Faculty Support

Our faculty brings a passion for teaching plus real world experience into the classroom. The professors also provide thought leadership in areas such as enterprise risk management, innovation management, supply chain management, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization. Lonnie’s investment in the college will enable us to strategically strengthen key areas with faculty leadership and endowed chairs.

A case for sustainability

As a business college, we understand that sustainability is a critical business imperative that yields a significant return on investment. It impacts our society, our economy, and the environment, both nationally and globally. Sustainability also impacts the corporate bottom line. We need to educate future leaders to view sustainability as a complement to innovation and entrepreneurship - to show that it is not only socially responsible, but also that it makes good business sense. To that end, we are creating a Center for Excellence in Sustainability within the Poole College of Management.


Business Sustainability Collaborative Library: