News

Blue Bell Foundation gifts CARS $2 million to be used for endowed scholarship

From Blue Bell to VF Corporation, the Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies (CARS) department has had a long-standing partnership with the local apparel and denim industry in Greensboro. This partnership helped to achieve an exciting new opportunity for the CARS department in the form of a $2 million gift to create the Blue Bell Foundation CARS Scholar fund.

 

Blue Bell made a name for itself by producing denim work clothing starting in 1904.  Workers from across the world sought out Blue Bell denim for the quality and endurance created on the corner of South Elm Street and West Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Meanwhile in 1904, CARS was making a name for itself as well teaching young women about clothing and textiles in the early days of UNCG.

 

A Blue Bell, Inc. delivery truck, ca. 1940.

 

In continuation with the longstanding history and support that Blue Bell has provided the community of Greensboro, Blue Bell Foundation has gifted the CARS department $2 million to support students in their journeys toward careers in the apparel industry.  This gift will continue the Blue Bell legacy through supporting the education of the industry’s future in the form of CARS graduates.  Dr. Nancy Hodges, CARS Department Head, said, “The Blue Bell name is important.  Due to outstanding companies like Blue Bell, Greensboro was known as ‘the denim capital of the world.’ Through this scholarship, the name ‘Blue Bell’ will carry on. And by helping us recruit excellent students, the gift supports the vitality of this dynamic industry.”

 

Students learning the domestic arts at the State Normal and Industrial School, now UNCG, ca. 1904

 

UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. said, “This gift represents the trust the foundation has in our University and in CARS, one of the oldest and most esteemed programs we have at UNCG.  Just like our University is part of the fabric of this city, certainly Blue Bell and the foundation have been key leaders for the city’s vitality and economic strength.  By supporting our Spartan students in this way, the Blue Bell Foundation ensures a tradition that will provide impact for decades to come.”

 

The Blue Bell Foundation CARS Scholarship Endowed Fund will support two students beginning in Fall 2022 for four years.  Two more students will receive the scholarship each year, funding eight students at any given time and creating a system for two scholarships per class.  Recipients of this scholarship will be determined based on academic merit and financial need may be considered as well.  As Mac Banks, Dean of the Bryan School of Business and Economics stated, this gift is a “game changer”.

 

Thank you, Blue Bell Foundation, for supporting CARS students through this tremendous gift.  As a result, CARS will continue the legacy of graduating exceptional apparel industry leaders right here in Greensboro, NC.