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Investing in Faculty, Students and Programs Through Leadership and Philanthropy

Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord, the founding director of the program

Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord, the founding director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program.

One of the most popular minors in the College of Arts and Sciences got a big boost during the Campaign for Carolina, thanks to Steve ’83 and Wendy Langman. The Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, popularly known as PPE, is an intellectually rich minor that brings the three disciplines together to think about and address major questions. Since its founding in 2005, the PPE Program has been especially appealing to students who are eager to challenge themselves and want to understand the forces that work to shape our social and political environment. This rigorous minor prepares students for a wide variety of careers in, for instance, law, management consulting, government, nonprofits, public policy, banking and finance.

“The PPE Program is bursting at its seams, with our gateway and capstone courses providing unparalleled opportunities to bring together the critical tools of philosophy, political science and economics to think about rights, justice, freedom and well-being as they are protected by some social and political institutions and threatened by others,” said Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord, the founding director of the program. “Steve and Wendy Langman’s second generous gift will help us meet the tremendous demand for PPE courses and ensure students are being taught by the best in the field.”

The Langman Professorship in Philosophy, Politics and Economics represents the couple’s second major gift to the PPE Program and establishes the program’s first endowed professorship. Their first gift, $1 million in expendable funds, kick-started the dramatic growth of the PPE Program. It enabled the hiring of world-class visiting professors to teach engaging undergraduate courses and supported the program’s extensive extracurricular offerings (which include semester-long reading groups, weekend seminars and an active speakers’ series). The program became one of the fastest growing minors on campus.

The Langman Professorship will be used to recruit or retain an outstanding faculty member who will teach the next generation of critical thinkers. It will also support one or more graduate students whose research and teaching will help shape the program and provide even more resources for its undergraduate students.

“We are committed to the idea of exposing students to the work of free-market thinkers; and the PPE Program, by its very nature, does this well, while also exposing students to the critics of, and alternatives to, free markets,” said the Langmans. “This is an incredibly enriching program at Carolina, and we are thrilled to once again find a way to contribute to its success.”

Langman is a longtime champion of the College and one of the longest-serving directors of the Arts and Sciences Foundation Board, dedicating 10 years of service. In addition to supporting the PPE Program and establishing its first professorship, he supports Honors Carolina and makes regular gifts to the Arts and Sciences Fund.

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