A $1 million gift from UNC Charlotte alumna, business innovator and Board of Trustees emerita Susan Dodson DeVore ’81 will establish a leadership program that will support the next generation of women leaders.
The Susan Dodson DeVore Women’s Leadership Development Program, announced at a luncheon honoring DeVore Oct. 13, is scheduled to launch in fall 2024.
“We are grateful to Susan DeVore for this incredible gift,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “She has been a trailblazer, an accomplished leader and someone who has shattered glass ceilings throughout her career. The Susan Dodson DeVore Women’s Leadership Development Program will help UNC Charlotte address the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions and create a new legacy of women empowered to take on the world.”
About the Susan Dodson DeVore Leadership Development Program
The program — based within the Belk College of Business’ Center for Leadership Science — will align and strengthen existing leadership programs across the University and provide the opportunity to introduce additional programming, specialized training and resources.
In addition to a robust curriculum, the program will expose students to unparalleled networking opportunities with Charlotte alumni and community executives, collaboratively visioning how to create inclusive workplace environments that equip women leaders with the tools to succeed.
The program will empower female leaders to identify and bolster individual leadership styles, strategize on career growth, channel their sphere of influence, and define their executive presence. The program aligns and expands existing campus initiatives, including the Belk College’s Women in Business Initiative, and the Women’s Leadership Development Program under the Division of Student Affairs.
Participants will have access to training through the Belk College’s Department of Management, led by Professors Janaki Gooty and George C. Banks, international experts in leadership and inclusive excellence and co-leads for the Center for Leadership Science.
Additionally, the Susan Dodson DeVore Women’s Leadership Development Program opens the door for a women in philanthropy initiative to support the programming in the greater community.
“UNC Charlotte equipped me to become what I did. I learned a lot in those days. Most importantly, I learned that you get what you give,” said DeVore. “When I first spoke to Chancellor Gaber about this gift, I told her I want a program that will empower women to be role models and mentors, to expose them to networks, skills, practice, jobs, confidence and risk taking.”
About Susan Dodson DeVore
Retired president and CEO of Premier Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care improvement companies, DeVore is an accomplished industry leader. With a focus on innovative thinking and leading from within, she has written the script on the power of women in leadership.
DeVore has been recognized in North Carolina and nationally for her work to improve the health of communities. In 2018, she received the Charlotte Business Journal’s Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award and was named to Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2017 “100 Great Healthcare Leaders to Know.”
A woman of influence in Charlotte and beyond, DeVore has led and served on numerous boards and committees, including Elevance Health and Unum Group, Healthcare Leadership Council, the Coalition to Protect America’s Healthcare, the Medicare Rights Center and the Charlotte Chamber.
DeVore earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1981 from the Belk College of Business, where she received the Bonnie Cone Scholarship and covered her own college expenses beyond that award. DeVore went on to earn a master’s degree in health leadership from McGill University.
“I learned about working hard, about making decisions, and I learned about how to learn. The depth of the education in business gave me the foundation for everything I do today,” DeVore explained in 2016 when honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award. She remains passionate about her alma mater and gives back to the University as both a volunteer and philanthropist.
DeVore has been a strong advocate for UNC Charlotte. She served on the University Board of Trustees from 2015-23 and as chair from 2021-23.
Photo: Susan DeVore, middle, with Chancellor Gaber and students Sonia Pacheco Mejia, Soumitri Kanduri, Adira Adbullah, Anna Lee and Yahaira Trejo.