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Zelnaks Donate $4 Million to NC State Poole College of Management

For Immediate Release

Chancellor Randy Woodson announced today a $4 million endowment to support North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management.

The Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean’s Chair will support college leadership in building outstanding departments and programs in management at NC State. The Zelnak Chair also provides the university with a powerful tool to recruit, retain and reward faculty leadership in the college.

The inaugural recipient of the Zelnak Chair is Dr. Ira R. Weiss, the current dean of NC State’s Poole College of Management. Weiss joined NC State as the third dean of the Poole College of Management in December 2004.

“Implicit in an NC State education is the ability to learn from and work with some of the top faculty in the world,” Woodson says. “The generous gift from Steve and Judy Zelnak will ensure that we continue to invest in our most powerful asset – our people.”

“Dean Weiss has made the Poole College of Management a very competitive entity within the world of business schools,” Steve Zelnak said. “It’s a dynamic environment, and if you’re not moving aggressively ahead, you’re slipping backward. So we thought it was very important to get Dean Weiss additional resources to work with.”

The Poole College of Management, established in 1992 and named in 2010, focuses on management education for a technology driven global marketplace. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in accounting, business administration and economics, as well as custom and open enrollment programs through North Carolina State Executive Education, LLC, the college’s executive programs unit. The college’s Jenkins Graduate programs, named in 2007, include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Accounting, and Master of Global Innovation Management which offers a Global Luxury Management option. The Master of Supply Chain Engineering and Management is offered jointly with NC State’s College of Engineering, and masters’ and doctoral degree programs in economics are offered jointly with NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Corporate engagement opportunities are available through the college’s centers and initiatives that support academic and outreach programs in biosciences management, consumer research, enterprise risk management, innovation management, supply chain management, and technology entrepreneurship and commercialization. Poole College’s accounting and business programs are accredited by AACSB International.

“The Zelnak Dean’s Chair supports the college’s commitment to academic excellence and the importance of academic leadership, and brings further recognition to our academic programs,” Weiss said. “It provides vital support for our core mission: to educate tomorrow’s business leaders through strong business partnerships, focusing on technology and innovation, promoting entrepreneurial programs, and developing international initiatives and alliances.”

Steve Zelnak is former chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta Materials, a leading producer of construction aggregates, dolomitic lime and magnesia chemicals. He served as CEO of the company from 1993 to 2010 and as non-executive chairman until 2014. He was responsible for taking the company public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994. From 1982-1993, Zelnak headed the company as a division of what is now Lockheed Martin, where he was an elected corporate officer. Over his last 10 years as CEO, Martin Marietta was the highest performing company in its industry. In 2008 and 2009, Fortune magazine rated Martin Marietta as the most admired company in its sector worldwide.

Zelnak also serves as a director for Beazer Homes, a leading national homebuilder, as well as continuing as a director of Martin Marietta. He is active in a number of civic, education and business groups, including: having served as chairman of the North Carolina Chamber; North Carolina Community College Foundation; National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; Peace College Board of Trustees; North Carolina Foundation for Research and Economic Education; and the North Carolina Aggregates Association. He recently completed service on NC State’s Board of Visitors and serves on NC State’s Poole College of Management Advisory Board and Georgia Tech’s Foundation Board.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Tech and master’s degrees in administrative science and business administration from the University of Alabama system.

In Raleigh, the Zelnaks recently invested in the Judy D. Zelnak Center for Hope, a new Salvation Army facility. They have also funded a term professorship in the Poole College of Management.

Zelnak says he’s fond of NC State’s think-and-do mentality.

“Practical application of knowledge is very important at NC State,” Zelnak said. “At the end of the day the world goes to doers. You need thinkers, but the world goes to the doers – and I think NC State produces doers.”

– kulikowski –