25, 2005 COMMUNITY PART OF SUCCESSFUL YEAR By Chancellor James Moeser The University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill for The Chapel Hill Herald
The holiday season offers an opportunity to reflect on the
successes of the past year since so many wonderful things
have happened at Carolina. Students, faculty and staff are
grateful for the pride our local community shows when the
UNC campus achieves excellence. Many of our most recent accomplishments
have been among the year's most important.
In August, we welcomed our second class of 346 Carolina Covenant
Scholars, who represent nearly 10 percent of our freshmen.
Their enrollment followed an excellent first year for this
program promising qualified low-income students a debt-free
education. Those first-year students posted less than a 2
percent attrition rate. UNC also started a mentorship program
for Covenant scholars that is being well supported by faculty
Two seniors just won prestigious scholarships and their records
here have included service to the local community. Kate Harris
received a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, distinguishing
herself as our 39th Rhodes Scholar since 1902. Wesley Campbell
was chosen for a prestigious Marshall Scholarships funded
by the British government.
Kate shared her passion for space with our campus and local
communities as a founder of SpaceTalk, a student group that
presents astronauts and others as lecturers, hosts astronomy
observatory sessions at the Morehead and gives school presentations.
Wesley has tutored children at a local housing project all
four years at Carolina and tutored third-graders in math.
This is a reflection of the commitment our students have
always made to academic excellence and community service.
We are delighted with the example Kate and Wesley have set
for their fellow students when it comes to volunteerism and
serving those in need.
I was gratified that so many of our students, faculty and
staff mobilized immediately to help victims of Hurricane Katrina,
just as they had done for North Carolinians after Hurricane
Isabel. The Carolina Center for Public Service helped organize
our relief efforts and a great response that continues. More
than 30 campus groups raised more than $58,000 for the American
Red Cross and other relief organizations. Fifteen law school
student volunteers went to New Orleans before Christmas to
participate in a pro bono program. Their efforts include helping
clients recover Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance
for destroyed property.
At home, this year's State Employees Combined Campaign at
Carolina and UNC Health Care has raised more than $1 million
to help support worthy programs in this community and around
the state. The fact that our faculty and staff continue to
rally to the call of the SECC - again placing first among
all state agencies - demonstrates the generosity of spirit
so evident among our work force.
Also important to town and gown alike was the completion
and reopening of Memorial Hall, the first step in reinvigorating
Carolina as a significant venue for the performing and visual
We are grateful for the strong private support from the local
for this project and our Carolina Performing Arts Series.
We have been pleased with the response to the facility and
We at the university remain hopeful that continued dialogue
and joint work will push progress forward on the town-gown
interests in maintaining Franklin Street and the downtown
We are also proud of how, in recent years, the university's
sustainability initiative has become a vibrant presence on
campus. This commitment has been recognized at the state and
national levels. Accomplishments include major advances with
recycling, stormwater management and reducing the number of
employees who drive alone to work. The university's partnership
with Chapel Hill and Carrboro has helped make possible the
success of the fare-free transit program benefiting the entire
We look forward to a collaborative process with the community
for considering Carolina North. Our vision is to create a
community that enhances the university's multiple missions,
intensifying innovation and redefining our engagement with
the region, the state and the world. We want Carolina North
to be a place of exceptional energy and beauty, connecting
to and enhancing both the main campus and neighboring communities.
We also want to provide housing that can be appropriate for
the income levels of people who work at Carolina North and
the university. Carolina North will have a strong impact on
economic development for our region and North Carolina.
Faculty play a key role in our optimism. Faculty quality
has helped make Chapel Hill one of the top U.S. public universities
in research support. The faculty attracted $579 million in
total contract and grant funding in fiscal 2005. That total
represents a more than 130 percent over the past decade. The
National Institutes of Health (NIH) is Carolina's
central funding source, and the faculty ranked 15th overall
in 2004 with nearly $290 million in total NIH funding. These
are remarkable achievements.
Carolina is moving forward with tremendous momentum. I am
looking forward to another successful year in 2006 with future
achievements that continue to be positively intertwined with
the best interests of the local community, as well as our
state. Happy holidays, and my best wishes to all in Chapel
Hill, Carrboro and Orange County for a prosperous new year.
James Moeser is chancellor of the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill.