More than $12 million of the gift will go for student scholarships with $1.5 million for the university’s nursing program and its facility, which will be renamed for Chaffin. His career included stints at Commercial Credit Corp. in Lumberton and Fayetteville, Cross Creek Savings and Loan and East Coast Savings and Loan, both in Fayetteville. Chaffin died in May at age 93.
“This remarkably generous gift demonstrates the extent to which the path we are taking as a faith-based university, rooted in the liberal arts but with strong professional programs, is both appreciated and valued,” President Stanley T. Wearden said in prepared remarks. “This gift also gives MU an even greater opportunity to offer scholarships that open doors for students who seek MU’s unique combination of a tight-knit, inclusive community with a top-tier education.
Chaffin was an active member of Camp Ground United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. He served in the U.S. military and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill after earlier attending Campbell University.
“The Board of Trustees at Methodist University has long wanted to grow our endowment and Mr. Chaffin’s gift is foundational as we launch a campaign for that purpose and continue to make MU affordable to all who desire our commitment to a mission-based education that prepares students to be both successful professionals and capable moral actors in the world,” said Mac Healy, chair of the Methodist University Board of Trustees.
Methodist has 2,000 students in about 80 different programs.