Chancellor Gilliam and Randall Kaplan

A Gift to Ignite Leadership on the Cutting Edge

Former UNC Greensboro Board of Trustees chair and current Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement co-chair Randall Kaplan has endowed the Randall R. Kaplan Distinguished Professorship in Innovation. This endowment will enable UNCG to award the Distinguished Professorship to a faculty member leading work in a cutting-edge field of study, positioning UNCG students for successful careers in emerging, in-demand fields. 

Randall Kaplan received degrees from Brown University and the University of Michigan, and practiced law in Washington D.C., before moving back to Greensboro to become president of Kay Chemical Company. He has founded and led multiple businesses and is the current CEO of the private investment company Capsule Group, LLC. He has served on a number of boards for organizations including UNCG.

“His endowment of the Randall R. Kaplan Distinguished Professorship in Innovation will give UNCG a strategic advantage in emerging fields, providing our students the competitive edge they deserve.”

Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

“Randall’s leadership and commitment to our community and to UNCG are unparalleled,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “Randall understands the shared fate of UNCG, the Triad, and the state of North Carolina. His endowment of the Randall R. Kaplan Distinguished Professorship in Innovation will give UNCG a strategic advantage in emerging fields, providing our students the competitive edge they deserve.” 

Kaplan’s gift was announced during the April 25 ribbon-cutting ceremony of UNCG’s new Esports Arena, located at the heart of campus in Moran Commons. The first Randall R. Kaplan Distinguished Professorship in Innovation will be awarded to a faculty member in the forthcoming esports academic program. This Professorship will enable UNCG to recruit and retain academic luminaries in cutting-edge fields, like esports, in perpetuity. 

“Through this gift, UNCG will be able to enhance the first-class education it provides to deserving students from every walk of life,” said Kaplan. “Our economy is rapidly changing, and UNCG must be creative and nimble to prepare graduates for a dynamic world. Investing in the leadership of innovative programs will keep UNCG ahead of the curve.” 

With a history of individual and family support at UNCG, the Kaplan family’s generosity has been integral to the fabric of the University. Their legacy is evident around the campus, including their gift to create Kaplan Commons, the west lawn of the Elliott University Center. Also, Kaplan’s mother, Tobee Kaplan, gave a gift to support health and wellness at UNCG. As a result, the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness was named in honor of Randall Kaplan’s father, Leonard Kaplan. 

Kaplan’s gift is part of UNCG’s $200 million Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement. The Campaign seeks to raise $100 million for student scholarships, $60 million for impactful programs, and $40 million to double the number of UNCG’s endowed professorships. Learn more about Light the Way at lighttheway.uncg.edu

Randall Kaplan at the UNCG Esports Arena