The estate of the late Charles Ackerman, a famed Atlanta real estate investor, gave $11 million to The Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
The center provides education and research to boost progress in social and environmental sustainability. It will be renamed the Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability and is part of a new building planned at the Kenan-Flagler campus. Groundbreaking is scheduled for September.
Ackerman was a UNC Chapel Hill graduate and U.S. Army veteran. He founded Ackerman & Co. in 1967 and broke ground in 1973 on the first skyscraper in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, Tower Place 100. He later started Ackerman Security Services after being shot during a home burglary. The New York native died in 2017 at age 84.
“This is a rare and transformational gift that will have tremendous impact on our students’ lives and the organizations where they work,” Kenan-Flagler Dean Douglas Shackelford said in a press release. “Ackerman, who had a very successful career in real estate, wanted to advance what future business leaders learn and how leaders address environmental issues.
“Charlie Ackerman was a visionary businessman and a real estate legend.”
The center looks for opportunities where there are shared interests, says Jeff Mittelstadt, the center’s executive director. “You find sustainability in all industries and applied through all functions. Challenging ourselves to simultaneously improve social impact, environmental integrity and profitability leads to innovations that we realize by collaborating.”