NC State Announces $3 Million Naming Gift For Golf Course

A $3 million gift has moved North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus golf course a step closer to reality. The university announced the gift – from Lonnie C. Poole Jr. and his wife Carol Lynn Poole – today.

The lead gift to the golf course campaign – a key component of the $1 billion Achieve! Campaign – will allow construction to begin on what will be called The Lonnie Poole Golf Course. Work could begin as early as June, pending the final planning steps. The Palmer Course Design Company has completed the design.

"This course will bring a broad range of benefits to NC State, our students and the community," said Chancellor James Oblinger. "The golf course will support teaching and learning, research, economic development and recreation in many ways. We are excited about this opportunity to recognize and thank our longtime friends and supporters, Lonnie and Carol Lynn Poole."

"North Carolina State University has been good to our family and to so many North Carolina families," Lonnie Poole said. "Carol Lynn and I feel very fortunate to be in a position to make a gift that will support and enhance the academic and athletic programs related to the golf course."

Lonnie Poole graduated from NC State in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He founded Waste Industries USA Inc. in 1970. Poole has been active on several boards and foundations at NC State and has contributed to several fund-raising campaigns. He currently serves on the NC State Foundation Board and is former chair. He also is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Endowment Fund of NC State University.

The Arnold Palmer Signature Course is planned as an 18-hole, 7,025-yard, par-71 public course. In addition to a recreational amenity, it will enhance the academic and programmatic mission of the university, provide a critical research and teaching tool, serve as a living laboratory for the university's nationally recognized turfgrass program, provide a home for the university's PGA-sanctioned Professional Golf Management program and also serve as a venue for the NC State golf teams.

The course is particularly important to the teaching of golf course professionals and will be a boost to the turfgrass program. The university is one of only 16 schools in the nation accredited by the PGA of America to offer a Bachelor of Science in professional golf management (PGM). PGM students learn how to combine the best practices for managing the business of golf with the best stewardship of natural resources. The turfgrass program is one of the largest and best known in the country.

The environmentally friendly course and facilities will cover about 200 acres in the southern portion of Centennial Campus. Eventually, the facility will include a clubhouse and a 12,000-square-foot building that will house classrooms, working labs, meeting and conference rooms, and offices.

The plan is to open the golf course in spring 2009. NC State continues to raise funds for the project, which carries a total cost of about $11.6 million – all of which will be raised through private donations.