CHARLOTTE, N.C. - April 21, 2022
Today in Woodward Hall, Lowe’s and UNC Charlotte unveiled the Lowe’s Technology Lounge during Lowe’s Technology Day at the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI). In 2021, Lowe’s committed $1.5 million to CCI to strengthen UNC Charlotte’s position as a leading technology hub and talent provider for Lowe’s, the Charlotte region and beyond.
Lowe’s Technology Day opened with a welcome from CCI Dean Fatma Mili, highlighting the commitment it took to complete what was just an idea nine months before. “Hundreds of hours went into making the Lowe’s Technology Lounge possible,” she said, “and none of it possible without the generosity and hard work of our many partners, on- and off-campus.”
UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden pointed to the new lounge as a unique and creative answer to a long-standing need for more student spaces. “As the university has grown, our most immediate needs have been building more classrooms, labs and offices, sometimes at the expense of places for students to gather, collaborate and unwind,” Lorden said. “This lounge is an exciting addition to CCI and our campus.”
Lowe’s executive vice president and chief information officer, Seemantini Godbole, spoke of the partnership as a way to further cultivate a collaborative two-way pipeline of ideas, initiatives and talent between UNC Charlotte and Lowe’s. “We want to work together, using technology to improve lives,” she said, “and hope to see more and more UNC Charlotte graduates working at Lowe’s.”
Prior to a ribbon cutting to officially dedicate the space - which was replaced with a ceremonial sawing of a board - Mili presented Godbole with a model of the Lowe’s Technology Lounge, created by Professor David Wilson and his team from the CCI Makerspace.
Lowe’s Technology Day continued with a Lowe’s executive panel, followed by lunch and a Lowe’s career perspective panel and a collaborative causal/modeling discussion. Throughout the day, members of the Lowe’s Technology Team showed off their work and spoke to CCI students about what it is like to work in technology at Lowe’s.
In addition to creating the Lowe’s Technology Lounge, the gift enabled CCI to establish the Lowe’s Endowed Chair in Computer Science and the Lowe’s Technology Innovation Fund. The chair endowment will enable UNC Charlotte to recruit a nationally recognized teacher, scholar and computer science leader whose research focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Lowe’s Technology Innovation Fund will provide $50,000 annually in support of innovative research in these areas.
Lowe’s donation also will help remove financial hurdles for students, faculty and staff through the support of the UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics Fund. As the number one producer of African American, Hispanic and female computer science graduates in North Carolina, CCI will use the fund to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in the technology field, including bolstering representation from women and those from underrepresented communities.
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 20 million customers a week in the United States and Canada. With fiscal year 2020 sales of nearly $90 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ over 300,000 associates. Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports its hometown Charlotte region and all communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts.
About the College of Computing and Informatics
Established in 1999, the UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) is the largest computing college in North Carolina and one of the largest in the nation. It has approximately 100 faculty members and more than 130 Ph.D. students. CCI is the number one producer of computer science graduates in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and it is the number one producer of African American, Hispanic and female computer science graduates in North Carolina.
About UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, the University leverages its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives.