The Cato College of Education is the third building on UNC Charlotte’s campus to be named thanks to a donation made by the Cato Corporation, led by John Cato who is a alumnus from the class of 1973.

“The UNC Charlotte college of education has a rich past and it now looks forward to an even brighter future thanks to the generosity of the Cato Corporation, led by our alumnus John Cato,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois. “The Cato Corporation and the Cato family have been huge supporters of UNC Charlotte College of Education for many years.”

The naming of the Cato College of Education follows a $5 million gift from the Cato Corp.

The gift was donated to the University’s largest fundraising campaign in its history, EXPONENTIAL: Campaign for UNC Charlotte.

The campaign seeks to raise $200 million to fund the University’s future through student scholarships, enhancements to academic programs and other initiatives to enrich the college experience.

A majority of the gift will be used to fund the Cato Scholarship for Education, which will offer financial assistance to any freshman and transfer student who is seeking a degree offered by the College.

“Education is the key to success and good teachers are the key to education. We’re proud to support the college of education and thrilled that it will now be called the Cato College of Education,” said Cato.

A smaller portion of the gift will go towards recognizing faculty through two different awards that will be presented annually. The Cato Award for Faculty Excellence will first recognize two faculty members in the field of research and two awards will honor professors who show excel in the three areas of teaching, research or community engagement.

“It is truly wonderful to be able to acknowledge the really impressive work of our faculty,” said Ellen McIntyre, dean of the Cato College of Education.

Cato is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Cato Corporation, which is based out of Charlotte.

He has served several positions at the University since his graduation. He is a former member of the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board and the UNC Charlotte Board of Visitors. Currently, he serves on the Belk College of Business Advisory Board.

“It is such an honor to have our college named for the Cato Corporation and John Cato, a prominent member of the Charlotte community and a huge supporter of UNC Charlotte,” said the Dean for the Cato College of Education Ellen McIntyre.

Cato was also inducted into the UNC Charlotte Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012.

The other two colleges to bear names on UNC Charlotte’s campus are the William States Lee College of Engineering and the Belk College of Business.

Photo by Allison Tran.
Photo by Allison Tran.
Nick Cropper is the News Editor for the Niner Times. Currently, he is a senior pursuing a major in PR and a minor in journalism. Although he has lived in Charlotte for close to four years now, he is originally from Maryland. Contact him at for questions or if you want to pitch a potential story.