The John William Pope Foundation has made a $1.3 million gift to UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to fund cancer research and treatment, according to a news release from the University.

The bulk of the gift will fund the creation of the John William Pope Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Research, and $300,000 will be used to fund the John William Pope Clinical Fellows Awards Program.

The Pope family, known for its support of conservative initiatives, has given millions of dollars to UNC, both in academics and athletics.

Most recently, a $3 million donation was given by the John William Pope Foundation to open the Student-Athlete Academic Support Center in Kenan Stadium.

The John William Pope Clinical Fellow Awards Program will support annual awards to three outstanding clinical fellows, judged by the faculty on the basis of their achievements in clinical or translational cancer research during their post-graduate clinical training.

Thomas Shea will be nominated as the first recipient of the professorship. He was one of the late John William Pope’s physicians when he was treated for cancer in 2006 and is an international leader in the care of patients with hematologic malignancies.

Shea is also the director of the UNC Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program and UNC Lineberger associate director of clinical outreach.

In March, Art Pope, the state budget director and a 1978 graduate of Carolina, was critical of the UNC System’s budget request, saying it did not align with his charge to keep the state’s budget growth at no more than 2 percent, according to the news release.