Dear Carolina Alumni and Friends:
We have much to celebrate in Chapel Hill this summer following a successful, productive academic year that ended on an especially high note at Commencement. Our undergraduates are winning every prestigious national scholarship. Our study abroad program is ranked sixth in the nation. The faculty now ranks 13th nationally among both public and private campuses in research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health and 17th for funding from the National Science Foundation.And the generous contributions of alumni and friends just put the Carolina First campaign over the $1 billion mark toward its $1.8 billion goal.That goal is the second largest at any public university, and our success to date is a powerful statement of the love that Carolina alumni and friends have for their university.
Our hopes and dreams for Carolinas future success remain simple and profound: to be the leading public university in America. We are driven by the desire to benefit the people and remain true to our heritage as Americas first public university. We want the university to be the best that it can be for the people of North Carolina and beyond.
Now let me share some details about Carolinas recent highlights and provide updates on key issues and upcoming events !
in the l
ife of the university.
Bill Cosby, Commencement highlights
Our annual May Commencement ceremony in Kenan Stadium was a joyful occasion. Actor Bill Cosby proudly shed his academic robe to display a Carolina sweatshirt before delivering an address that was thoughtful, had the right amount of his trademark humor and made both students and parents alike think about the future. He urged our graduates to believe in themselves. He spoke passionately about education, a topic close to his heart since he went back to college after achieving much of his professional success to earn M.A. and Ph.D.
degrees in education.
Cosby, who received a standing ovation, was among four honorary degree recipients. In all, some 4,730 students earned undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees during Commencement weekend. We held our first doctoral hooding ceremony in Polk Place to coincide with the centennial of the Graduate School. We used the new video board in Kenan Stadium for the first time during the main ceremony, and it was well received by students, faculty, parents and other guests alike.
Students shine in top scholarship competition
I am proud that 11 Carolina undergraduates won prestigious national and international scholarships this year. That list is impressive: one Rhodes, one Truman, one Luce, one Churchill, one Udall, three Goldwaters, two Cookes and one Rieser.
Last December, senior Morehead Scholar Karine Dubé of Canada was chosen for a Rhodes Scholarship, becoming the 36th UNC student to be so honored since 1902. She was joined this spring by these outstanding student leaders:
David Lyndon W. Angeles of Kings Mountain, a junior international studies and French major,won a Harry S.Truman Scholarship, which nurtures students with a commitment to public service careers. Fourteen UNC students have been Truman winners since 1992.
Carl Erik Fisher of Glen Ridge, N.J., a senior biology and music major, won a Luce Scholarship and will spend a year studying in Asia. Carolina ranks second behind Harvard in numbers of Luce Scholars. Fisher is UNCs 23rd winner since the program began in 1974.
Bennett Rogers of Durham won one a Churchill Scholarship, which goes to outstanding American undergraduates pursuing graduate studies in science, mathematics and engineering. Since 1993, nine UNC students have won the Churchill.
Juniors Nathaniel T. Calloway of Durham and Joshua A. Carter of Winston-Salem and sophomore C. Michael Minder of Matthews won Goldwater Scholarships, given to students pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. UNC has had 22 Goldwater Scholars since the program began in 1986.
Junior Ellen Elizabeth Veazey of Morganton, for the second consecutive year,won a Morris K. Udall Scholarship for academic excellence and commitment to preserving the environment. Her award brings the number of Udall scholarships going to Carolina students to seven since the program began in 1996.
Seniors Daniel Ross Hinson of Springfield, Va., and Nathan L. Maust of Harrisonburg, Va., received Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships to support their graduate careers.This award program began last year.
Ken Varner of Wilmington will study physics in Spain at the Solar Energy !
ute of Madrid as the recipient of a Leonard M. Rieser Fellowship in Science, Technology and Global Security. Varner is the first UNC student to win the Rieser, created in 1999 and first awarded in 2000.
These are significant academic achievements. We are confident that these students will bring great honor and distinction to the university in the years to come.
Carolina Firsts $1 billion milestone
I had the pleasure of announcing the latest milestone in the Carolina First campaign (carolinafirst.unc.edu) to our 59-member volunteer steering committee in late May.The campaign officially reached $1 billion in gifts and pledges toward our total goal of $1.8 billion by 2007.
It is important to remember that the billion-dollar figure represents many gifts from alumni and friends who want to help keep Carolina strong. Each and every gift to the campaign improves the Carolina experience and supports and enhances the work of a student, faculty member or program.
Carolina First has created 100 new endowed professorshipshalf the total goal of 200and more than 330 new undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships toward a target of 1,000. Two years ago, I promised the people of North Carolina that if they passed the higher education bond referendum we would triple their investment with private funds. The people responded overwhelmingly, and successful completion of this campaign will fulfill that pledge. The ultimate beneficiaries will be the people of North Carolina.
Private support more important than ever
Private support is critically impor!
the university at a time when North Carolina continues to experience severe budget problems. Virtually every other state is dealing with similar budget challenges that are adversely affecting education at all levels. Knowing that does not make it any easier for our senior managersvice chancellors, deans, department chairs and directorswho have been making painful but necessary decisions in recent weeks about programs, people and future priorities.
As I write this, we expected Carolina to have absorbed nearly $30 million in total reductions in state appropriations when fiscal 2002-03 ended June 30th. We anticipate additional permanent reductions in state allocations as part of the final state budget for fiscal 2003-04. These ongoing cuts have had serious consequences. The provost, the deans and I are doing all we can to preserve the quality of the education we provide to students and to minimize the impact of cuts in the classroom. Our goal remains to protect our core mission of teaching, research and public service.
State support remains essential to the future of Carolina, and we are working closely with our legislators, elected officials and others to ensure that North Carolina continues to protect, as much as possible during a difficult time, the investment the taxpayers have made in this university over more than two centuries.
Tar Heel Bus Tour resumes
I spent part of the week following Commencement with more than 30 new faculty and administrators who traveled the state by bus to learn about distinctly North Carolina topics ranging from tobacco to stock car racing to Fort Bragg to an economy in transition. The privately funded t!
begun in 1997, covered more than 1,000 miles over five days with stops from Wilmington to Cherokee. New faculty saw for themselves where 82 percent of Carolinas incoming undergraduates grew up. They also learned more about how their research, teaching and public service connects with the states needs. This popular tour reflects Carolinas strong commitment to serving the people of North Carolina and being directly engaged in their lives. It is a wonderful experience for our new faculty, who are eager to become true Tar Heels.
New fellows join arts and sciences academy
Two faculty members and alumnus C.D. (Dick) Spangler Jr. have been elected fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of preeminent contributions in their fields. Faculty fellows, honored for their contributions in the humanities and arts, are Dr. Thomas E. Hill Jr., Kenan professor of philosophy, and Dr. Alan R. Shapiro, William Rand Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of English. Spangler, former UNC president, was recognized for business, corporate and philanthropic leadership. Carolina now has 26 members
in the Cambridge, Mass.-based academy, considered the nations oldest and most illustrious learned society.
Faculty rank 13th in federal health research funds
One of the universitys most important contributions to the North Carolina economyand quality of lifeis the facultys success in attracting federal research funds to advance the frontiers of knowledge about human health. Our faculty have proven themselves to be among the nations very best at securing these highly competitive !
The latest affirmation comes from the National Institutes of Health, which recently ranked Carolina 13th overall for total funding awarded in fiscal 2002a 12 percent increase. Carolina is the top public university in the South and one of only five Southern universities, public or private, cited in the NIHs top 20. All five health affairs schoolsdentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public healthranked in the NIHs top 25 of public and private campuses. The university also recently made its second consecutive appearance on the top 20 list, as compiled by the National Science Foundation, of national universities receiving federal science and engineering funding. That achievement is remarkable considering Carolina has no engineering school.
New buildings boost genomics initiative
Carolinas construction program, which we believe is the largest under way at any major American university, reached a major landmark in April with the official opening of the Biomolecular Research Building, a linchpin project supporting our campuswide genome sciences initiative. The eight-story building has 225,000 square feet and provides research laboratories and support space for the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, which draws its membership from the entire university as part of a public-private investment of $245 million over the next decade.
The new building is connected to Taylor Hall and the Neuroscience Research Building in the health affairs complex. It draws together basic sciences with clinical sciences to promote the kind of interdisciplinary research for which Carolina aspires to be known. This facility, made possible in pa!
rt by th
e higher education bond referendum and prior state appropriations, is a fitting place in which to nurture our growing emphasis on the life sciences and the work of some of the worlds very best researchers. Earlier this year, we also completed the Bioinformatics Building, another key project supporting our genomics program.
Carolina among top study abroad programs
We were pleased to learn recently that Carolina ranks sixth among all U.S. research universities for the total number of students receiving academic credit for studying abroad during the 2000-2001 academic year. That assessment comes from Open Doors 2002, a report published by the Institute of International Education. When measuring the percentage of students going abroad, the institute listed Carolina third among major public research universities and 13th among all major research campuses. The university sent 1,286 students abroad in 2000-2001, representing about 21 percent of the number of students earning undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Todays students need to understand other societies, cultures, economies and people. We are committed to providing meaningful international experiences to as many students as possible through study abroad programs, partnerships and scholarships and our academic offerings. The Office of Study Abroad administers more than 230 programs in 64 countries, including many led by Carolina faculty. That office and the rest of the university have been closely monitoring the threat of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). For our students safety, we cancelled summer study abroad and travel programs that involved areas for which the Centers for Disease Control and Pre!
had issued travel advisories. Those programs included an honors class in Beijing, China.
Make your alumni weekend plans
Carolina alumni from all class years are invited back to campus this fall for Alumni Weekend Oct. 17-18. Your General Alumni Association has a full schedule of events planned including a Bell Tower Climb, pre-game tailgate at Tar Heel Town, special Alumni Weekend seating at the homecoming game against the Arizona State Sun Devils and a post-game party. It will be a great weekend for you to connect again with your Tar Heel friends and relive your Carolina experience. Please visit the associations Web site, alumni.unc.edu, for a full schedule of events and hotel information.
I am already looking forward to spending football Saturdays in Kenan Stadium cheering on Coach John Bunting and the Tar Heels for what we expect will be a successful season. And it is not too soon to think about basketball. We have seen a tremendous outpouring of excitement about the return of Coach Roy Williams, a Tar Heel alumnus and North Carolina native, to Chapel Hill. In Roy, Carolina has attracted the nations best coach to lead our program. Please know that your continued support and enthusiasm mean so much to our coaches and student-athletes in all 28 sports in which Carolina fields teams.
Become a Bell Ringer for Carolina
The Bell Ringers program acknowledges private donors for their generosity in consecutive years. Almost 35,000 donors rang the bell by giving to Carolina in each of the past two fiscal years. Gifts can be designated to the Chancellors University Fund or to a!
l, academic program or department. Unrestricted gifts from the Chancellors University Fund support the Alumni Distinguished Professors, need-based undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and other programs with needs not covered by state appropriations. All gifts made by Carolina Bell Ringers count toward the Carolina First campaign. If you wish to support Carolina by making a donation, a gift slip is enclosed.
Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support, devotion to and love for Carolina. Chapel Hill would neverbe the same without it.
With best wishes,