Irwin “Ike” Belk, WPU Benefactor and Friend, Passes Away

Mar 2, 2018

William Peace University mourns the passing of benefactor and friend, Irwin “Ike” Belk, who passed away on Saturday, February 24, at the age of 95. The Belk Department Store magnate was a generous contributor, to not only William Peace University but to higher education and athletics across North Carolina. His name can be found on university campus residences and dining halls, libraries, and athletic facilities spanning our entire state.

“There are so many students, alumni and faculty throughout North Carolina who have been touched by his generosity and his commitment to education.”

WPU benefactor, Irwin Belk

Irwin “Ike” Belk. Photo courtesy of Belk Family.

Iwrin and his beloved wife, Carol, made a significant contribution to Peace in the 1960s, which aided in the construction of Belk Dining Hall. The building, which was named for Belk and his family, was completed in 1967, and it still stands as a dining hall and student activity center. Belk Dining Hall was renovated in 2014 and after extensive updates in the summer of 2017, the second floor was remodeled as a 24-hour student activity center, known as the Pacer Hub.

“Ike Belk will be remembered for his passion for philanthropy in support of educational institutions like William Peace University,” said Jodi Stamey, Vice President for Advancement at William Peace University. “There are so many students, alumni, and faculty throughout North Carolina who have been touched by his generosity and his commitment to education.”

Photo of Belk Hall on WPU's campus.

Belk Hall’s completion in the center of WPU’s campus was due in large part to the contributions of Irwin “Ike” Belk.

As a University of North Carolina graduate and World War II veteran, Ike served as an executive with Belk Department Stores for more than 50 years, and four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate. Belk was a longtime member of the US Olympic Committee as well as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. He proved his fervent support of higher education and served honorably for many years on the board of various North Carolina universities and as a member of the Board of Governors of the NC University System.

“His generosity created the epicenter of activity on our campus – Belk Hall – home to our main dining facility and outdoor gathering space for students.”

“Mr. Belk has left an incredible imprint not only on William Peace University but on higher education in the Carolinas,” said Dr. Brian Ralph, President of William Peace University. “His passion for combining art and athletics was truly unique and forever changed the landscape of colleges and universities across the region. His generosity created the epicenter of activity on our campus – Belk Hall – home to our main dining facility and outdoor gathering space for students.  We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and countless friends of Mr. Belk – he will be fondly remembered.”



Monday, March 5, 2018
11:00 a.m.
Myers Park Presbyterian Church
2501 Oxford Place
Charlotte, NC

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