The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) announced a $5 million gift from Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge at the groundbreaking ceremony for the school’s new campus in Morganton. The gift conveys naming rights for a state-of-the-art comprehensive student wellness and activities center at NCSSM-Morganton. This is the largest gift in the 40-year history of NCSSM, an internationally recognized leader in high school STEM education and a member of the 17-campus University of North Carolina System. CHS Blue Ridge, a community healthcare system with hospitals in Morganton and Valdese, has been serving families in the community for nearly 113 years and sees this gift as a way to support the future prosperity and well-being of the region.

“The new school represents a significant investment in our community,” said Kathy C. Bailey, President and CEO of CHS Blue Ridge. “We feel the school will bring new families and jobs to the area which will enhance the quality of life for those in our community including our own employees.”

“The board felt very strongly about this donation and we worked hard to make it happen,” said Mike Bridges, Chairman of the CHS Blue Ridge Board of Directors. “We are committed to improving health, of course, and economics plays a large part of that. We want to make this a successful venture for Burke County.”

NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts was honored to accept the gift on behalf of NCSSM-Morganton on Friday. “We are extremely grateful to CHS Blue Ridge for its investment in our new campus and steadfast commitment to the Unifour region,” Roberts said. “This extraordinary gift represents the largest private donation in our school’s history and will help bring the NCSSM experience to hundreds more students each year.”

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Originally published June 21, 2019.