The public is invited to the UNC campus Sunday afternoon to celebrate University Day, the 221st birthday of Carolina.
Festivities will take place in Memorial Hall beginning at 2 p.m. with the traditional procession of faculty and staff. Chancellor Carol Folt will preside and Gov. Pat McCrory will be the featured speaker. The 2014 Edward Kidder Graham Award will be given to Krista Perreira, professor of public policy and associate dean for undergraduate research.
Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus awards will be given to:• Patricia Dallas Horoho, B.S.N. 1982
• Honorable James Baxter Hunt Jr., J.D. 1964; LL.D. 1978
• Andrew McNally IV, B. A. 1963
• James Richard Patton Jr., B. A. 1948
• Wade Marvin Smith, B. A. 1960; J.D. 1963
University Day is an occasion to remember the University’s past and celebrate its future. The date, Oct. 12, marks the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the institution’s first building and the oldest state university building in the nation. The Carolina community first celebrated University Day in 1877, after Gov. Zebulon B. Vance, as chair of the Board of Trustees, ordered that the day “be observed with appropriate ceremonies under the direction of the faculty.”
Subsequent celebrations have featured speeches from distinguished members of the faculty and honored visitors. President John F. Kennedy spoke in 1961, as did Bill Clinton in 1993. North Carolina governors have made University Day a traditional stop during their first term of office – including Luther Hodges, Jim Hunt, Terry Sanford, Jim Martin, Mike Easley and Bev Perdue.
Beginning in 1957 with William B. Aycock, University Day became the traditional inauguration day for new chancellors: Paul F. Sharp in 1964, J. Carlyle Sitterson in 1965, N. Ferebee Taylor in 1972, Christopher C. Fordham III in 1980, Paul Hardin in 1988, Michael Hooker in 1995, James Moeser in 2000, Holden Thorp in 2008, and Carol Folt in 2013.