Eli N. Evans '58
| Eli N. Evans '58, writer, philanthropist and chair of the Advisory Board for the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on May 10 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s spring commencement.
"Everyone at the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies is thrilled to have Eli recognized in this prestigious manner. His vision and ongoing efforts to make the Center a world-class hub for Jewish Studies certainly have made an everlasting impact on this campus," said Jonathan Hess, director. "It is only fitting that the university, in turn, honor all his career achievements and contributions to this campus."
A native of Durham, Evans graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University in 1958, then served in the United States Navy for two years before entering Yale Law School. After graduating in 1963, Evans worked for two years as a speechwriter for President Lyndon Johnson, then as staff director of a study on the future of the states headed by Terry Sanford. From 1967 to 1977, he traveled extensively in the South as a senior program officer for the Carnegie Corporation. From 1977 to 2003, Evans served as president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, where he oversaw significant grants to Jewish philanthropy, urban affairs, education and biomedical research.He is the author of several books including “The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South” and “The Lonely Days Were Sundays: Reflections of a Jewish Southerner.”
Evans has helped guide the development of Carolina’s highly regarded Jewish studies program and serves as founding chair of the advisory board for the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.
Chancellor Holden Thorp will preside at the ceremony, his first as chancellor. The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Kenan Memorial Stadium.
The Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library has put together a mini-exhibit in honor of Evans. The exhibit will be on view during commencement weekend and continues until June 5 on the fourth floor of Wilson Library.