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Bell Family Makes

$1 Million Gift to


Establish an Endowment



The gift will be used to create the Steve Bell Family Life Skills Endowment.


Jackie and Steven “Steve” Bell of Greensboro, North Carolina, recently made a $1 million gift to High Point University. This gift was made in conjunction with the Bell Foundation to establish the Steve Bell Family Life Skills Endowment.


“HPU is able to provide our students with the premier life skills education because of the support we receive from families like the Bells,” says HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “With this endowment from the Bells and the Bell Foundation, HPU will be able to support many more extraordinary experiences that will assist our students in achieving the excellence they seek.”


The Steve Bell Family Life Skills Endowment will provide the university with additional resources to bring in speakers, experts and practitioners from the fields of business, real estate and entrepreneurship. It is the Bell’s wish that through their gift, students are encouraged to think and act like entrepreneurs through enhanced learning opportunities such as business plan competitions.


As established members of the Triad, the Bell family is very involved with their community and works through different philanthropic endeavors to support area initiatives, while encouraging others to do the same. By helping enhance the student experience at HPU, they hope the additional resources will assist in furthering university growth, and by extension, surrounding cities like High Point and Greensboro.


“We chose to support HPU because of the university’s values and ability of faculty and staff to help students succeed through discipline and focus,” says Steve Bell. “As long-time residents of the Triad, we hope to continue to see good growth from the school that will help to support the surrounding community. What is good for High Point University is good for the Triad.”


Steve graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in history. After college, Steve spent eight years working in investment property sales and management, focusing primarily on shopping malls, office space and apartments. In 1976, Steve founded Bell Partners, one of the leading apartment investment and management companies in the nation. Bell Partners works with high-net-worth clients and large institutions from all over the world through their 11 regional offices located across the nation. The company has been listed as one of the top 20 largest apartment operators with more than 72,000 properties under its management.


The Bells have three children, Jon, Durant and Donna, and 10 grandchildren. In 2016, Steve transitioned from CEO to chairman of the company, and Jon took over as CEO. After Steve’s retirement in March 2022, Jon assumed the role of executive chairman. Durant also works for Bell Partners as the executive vice president of high-net-worth relations and business development. Donna worked for Bell Partners briefly in the condominium sector before transitioning to a homemaker to take care of her four children. Donna’s son, Paxton Gravely, graduated from HPU in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in sport management. He currently works for a paper manufacturer in Nashville, Tennessee.


In addition to their endowment, the Bell’s recently made a six-figure gift to support student success at the university through the HPU Fund for Extraordinary Education and have extended their generosity to other higher education institutions throughout North Carolina. They also support Greensboro Day School, where Jackie is a former trustee and currently serves on the Head of School’s Council.

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