The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry opened the doors to a new education and research facility and honored a generous alumnus and friend, Burlington businessman Maurice J. Koury, on Friday, April 27.
The Koury Building, which adds 216,500 square feet of space, adjoins the school’s existing structures – Tarrson Hall, Brauer Hall and Old Dental Building – at the corner of Manning Drive and South Columbia Street.
“This is an exciting time for the UNC School of Dentistry,” said Dean Weintraub. “The Koury Oral Health Sciences Building will allow us to continue being a leader in dental education and research for many years to come. We’re grateful beyond words for the investment the General Assembly, our University and our private donors, especially Mr. Koury, made in our school to make this facility a reality.”
Koury is president of Carolina Hosiery Mills Inc. and over the years his business interests have also expanded to the development of hotels and commercial properties.
The Koury Oral Health Sciences Building is the latest example of Koury’s generosity and impact across the Carolina campus. Others include the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Koury Auditorium; Koury Residence Hall; the Koury Library in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center; and the Koury Natatorium.
Koury, who enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill as an undergraduate in 1945, began his relationship with the School of Dentistry nearly 30 years ago as a patient and through patient referrals he made to the school.
Koury’s undergraduate years at Carolina were the beginning of a life-long commitment to public higher education and Carolina in particular. Koury served two terms on the University’s Board of Trustees, and he chaired the student affairs and development committees. He also served two terms as president of the Educational Foundation Inc. and was the longtime chair of the foundation’s endowment trust. The Burlington native played a major role in securing funding for the Dean E. Smith Center and made a generous leadership gift to the George Watts Hill Alumni Center. His contributions to the College of Arts and Sciences include the establishment of the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professorship, which honors his mother.
Koury’s University honors include the William Richardson Davie Award, the highest recognition given by the trustees, an honorary degree and the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal.
The Koury Oral Health Sciences Building will provide improved technology for teaching and collaborative research across UNC-Chapel Hill and other campuses, larger lecture rooms and meeting spaces for inter-class collaboration, and an expanded 105-seat patient simulation laboratory.