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Gift Announcements

New Gift From Peter A. Pappas ’83 Will Transform Real Estate Development in North Carolina

the downtown Raleigh skyline framed by trees
Photo by Becky Kirkland.

With a significant $10 million commitment from Peter A. Pappas, a 1983 graduate and CEO of both Pappas Properties and Terwilliger Pappas, NC State University will become home to a new program that will prepare students for careers in real estate development.

“This program will draw on the talents and expertise found in multiple colleges to address responsible growth and development — critical issues facing our state. This kind of interdisciplinary work is where NC State excels, and this is how we drive change and serve the people of North Carolina,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. 

“I am so grateful to Peter for his generous leadership, for inspiring other donors to join him and for investing in a vibrant, prosperous and inclusive quality of life for North Carolinians.” 

The Peter A. Pappas Real Estate Development Program will provide a comprehensive approach to real estate development, focusing on land-use, transportation and open-space planning. This builds upon and formalizes the work undertaken by the Initiative for Community Growth, directed by Chuck Flink, Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and housed at the College of Design. 

The four initial courses offered under the Initiative for Community Growth enrolled more than 70 students across five colleges, demonstrating a demand for real estate development education. This spring, NC State students had the opportunity to begin enrolling in a City Design Certificate program, with a focus on real estate development. These two academic elements will become part of the Pappas Real Estate Development Program.

Peter Pappas headshot
Peter A. Pappas. Photo courtesy of Pappas Properties.

“Peter’s generous philanthropic gift is critically important as we formally launch NC State’s real estate development education program. Equally significant, we welcome Peter as a thought partner and volunteer leader, and we look forward to working with him to graduate a new generation of industry leaders, equipped not only with knowledge and skills, but also with a commitment to service, and who will shape North Carolina’s evolving landscape,” said Flink, who is also a College of Design alumnus.

As a land-grant institution, NC State is uniquely positioned to serve the communities that comprise all 100 of North Carolina’s counties. By leveraging the university’s thought leadership and interdisciplinary expertise, the Pappas Real Estate Development Program will help solve the urgent challenge of rapid growth across different geographies throughout North Carolina and generate an impact many citizens will see in their own communities.

“I appreciate the efforts of Rob Dunn and Helen Chen in the Provost’s Office, Dean Hoversten, and Chuck Flink in the College of Design in working so closely with me to initiate this exciting program. Collaboration between the Colleges of Engineering, Design, Natural Resources and the Poole College of Management on this interdisciplinary program will teach the importance of building communities and creating places, leading to a better-built environment,” said Pappas.

This gift commitment speaks to the heart of Pappas’ philanthropic philosophy; his family foundation was established to invest in the future of communities. 

“I can think of no better way to improve the built environment than creating a comprehensive real estate development program that will prepare the next generation of young leaders in making a positive and lasting impact on our cities,” he added.

With the state expected to add 3.5 million residents by 2050, the program is extraordinarily timely. Through new courses, certificate and professional development offerings, and plans for an eventual graduate degree, the program will educate and graduate the next generation of professionals who will plan, design and build the North Carolina of the future.

One focus of the program will be place-making, which is the act of creating public spaces that attract people and strengthen their connections to community and each other.

“As North Carolina continues to experience growth, real estate development will play a unique role by adding value through community building and place-making. We appreciate Peter Pappas’ vision and support as we engage these issues throughout the state,” said Mark Hoversten, dean of the College of Design.

A key differentiator between this new program and similar offerings is its interdisciplinary approach — which is more reflective of the real estate development field graduates will join. College of Design faculty will anchor the effort, with the College of Engineering, College of Natural Resources and Poole College of Management all serving as academic partners and the Office of Instructional Programs leading the program. 

“This addition to NC State’s suite of interdisciplinary programs underscores our continued commitment to fostering exemplary interdisciplinary education,” said Helen Chen, senior vice provost for instructional programs. “The development of this program has been a collective effort, supported by the vision and dedication of numerous leaders across our university, including the foundational contributions from Dean Mark Hoversten, and Peter’s generosity.”

As the program and its leaders work to achieve its ambitious goals of educating new generations of professionals and building stronger communities, the engagement, advice and support of the real estate development community will be critical. Two forthcoming engagement opportunities include serving as a member of the Industry Council or on the Program’s Advisory Board. For more information about the program and getting involved, contact Chuck Flink

To learn about additional opportunities for philanthropic partnership with the program, contact Alan Taylor, assistant vice chancellor for University Advancement.