Lowe’s and UNC Charlotte announced that Lowe’s has donated $1.5 million to the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) to strengthen UNC Charlotte’s position as a leading technology hub and talent provider for Lowe’s, the Charlotte region and beyond.
The gift will establish the Lowe’s Endowed Chair in Computer Science and the Lowe’s Technology Innovation Fund. The chair endowment will enable UNC Charlotte to recruit a nationally recognized teacher, scholar and computer science leader whose research focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Lowe’s Technology Innovation Fund will provide $50,000 annually in support of innovative research in these areas.
“We are actively hiring to build the best tech team in retail, and artificial intelligence and machine learning play increasingly important roles in how we serve customers and our associates,” said Seemantini Godbole, executive vice president and chief information officer at Lowe’s. “We are excited to extend our partnership with UNC Charlotte with this donation, which highlights our mutual dedication to developing skilled technology professionals and improving the economic health of our hometown Charlotte region.”
The Lowe’s donation also will help remove financial hurdles for students, faculty and staff through the support of the UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics Fund. As the No. 1 producer of African American, Hispanic and female computer science graduates in North Carolina, CCI will use the fund to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in the technology field, including bolstering representation from women and those from underrepresented communities.
“We are so thankful to Lowe’s for their continued commitment to strengthening research and creative expression across our university,” said Fatma Mili, dean of the College of Computing and Informatics. “This partnership is aligned with the shared commitment between UNC Charlotte and Lowe’s to make a significant impact through the continued innovation of our faculty and students and the education of the next generation of computer scientists.”
The second-floor atrium in Woodward Hall — home to CCI — will be named in Lowe’s honor. As the largest computing college in North Carolina, CCI leads transformational research through its undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in computer science, bioinformatics and genomics, cybersecurity, data science and business analytics, health informatics and software and information systems.
Lowe’s has a long-standing partnership with UNC Charlotte, and CCI’s broad expertise and large talent pool were among the reasons Lowe’s selected the Charlotte region for the Lowe’s Tech Hub and its expanded technology presence.
On April 9, CCI will host its inaugural Technology Day in partnership with Lowe’s. During the virtual event, a panel of senior Lowe’s executives will discuss technology trends in a post-COVID environment, and Mili and Godbole will explore the latest advances being developed by CCI and Lowe’s respectively. Register to tune in.