Billionaire Murdock to support NC Research Campus in perpetuity

Photo source: Forbes
Photo source: Forbes

KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - David Murdock announced on Tuesday that he will financially support the NC Research Campus and the David Murdock Research Institute in perpetuity with an annual gift of $15 million.

"In order to make this Institute the size and the quality and the success that I want to see it, I am making, in perpetuity, a contribution of $15 million a year . . . to the core lab and will continue to watch and see the needs of this Institution, financially, as we build it into the biggest and best in the world," Murdock stated. "I am searching the world over, particularly though the United States, (for) a great leader to head this Institute."

Following his $50 million pledge last year to the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), Murdock is announcing an additional gift to be given to the Institute in perpetuity to support operational expenses and to recruit top scientific talent, according to a press release provided to WBTV.

Last year's gift has funded the updating of equipment in the DHMRI's six laboratories and underwritten the initial work of developing independent research programs in diabetes, metabolomics and cardiovascular disease.

Murdock established the not-for-profit David H. Murdock Research Institute as the core laboratory facility for the NCRC. The Institute offers a broad range of advanced technologies to campus partners and corporate, academic, non-profit and government collaborators around the world. DHMRI is the flagship institute of the NCRC, which was founded by Murdock in 2005.

"I hope people realize this gift will equal over $500 million in just over 30 years," commented Lynne Scott Safrit, president of the NCRC and Castle & Cooke, North Carolina, "and it all goes to helping people eat healthier, live longer and prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity."
The NCRC is home to 20 academic, industry, technology and healthcare partners all focused on research advancing human health, nutrition and agriculture. Murdock's personal investment in the campus exceeds $800 million.

"The NC Research Campus is one of our 16 universities," said Chris Brown, PhD, the University of North Carolina System vice president for research and graduate education.  Seven UNC schools have research programs at the NCRC alongside side corporate partners. "This gift will move DHMRI forward and that benefits our campuses and enhances our partnership with DHMRI."

Murdock is the CEO of the Dole Food Company and at one time purchased what was then Cannon Mills in Kannapolis.