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March 2006
Spring packs a punch at Carolina
By Chancellor James Moeser The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for The Chapel Hill Herald

 

One need spend but a single spring here to have memories of beautifully blooming landscapes, lively discussion on the issues of the day outside the Franklin Street post office, and -- of course -- basketball-induced excitement.

The Carolina women's and men's basketball teams have treated us all to a wonderful basketball season. For many of us, the men's season ended far too quickly with Roy Williams and the young men he and his staff so ably coach and mentor heading home last weekend after a second-round NCAA tournament loss. But what a ride they gave us. We are all proud of their success and the way they represented Carolina.

The women's team, led by Coach Sylvia Hatchell and her staff, resumes play today in the Sweet 16 of the women's tournament, and we will cheer them loudly and proudly as they progress, we hope, to the Final Four in Boston. Go Heels!

Indeed, it is springtime at Carolina. Here is a sampling of updates on campus-related happenings that may be of particular interest to our neighbors.

  • Carolina Performing Arts Series' 2006-07 season line-up promises to pick up where this year's debut season left off. Performers slated for the coming year include the Cleveland Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Alvin Ailey and many more. Visit www.performingartsseries.org for the complete line-up.

  • Carolina is one of eight U.S. colleges and universities selected to join the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in a $27 million partnership to enable more deserving community college students to earn bachelor's degrees from selective four-year institutions. UNC's efforts will focus on admitting and graduating transfer students from Durham Technical Community College, Alamance Community College and Wake Technical Community College.

  • Two of the 53 outstanding young leaders from high schools nationwide and in Great Britain -- including 29 from North Carolina -- this month named Morehead Scholars are from the local community. Congratulations to Catherine Shepherd Burns of Chapel Hill High School and Ashley Chaunte Harrington of East Chapel Hill High School.

  • Citizens interested in tracking legislative developments in Raleigh have a new tool, courtesy of UNC's School of Government. As part of its Legislative Reporting Service, the school is offering online digests of bills filed in the General Assembly -- a tool previously available only to legislators and their staffs. To access the free service, visit www.dailybulletin.unc.edu and click on "Archives."

  • Progress Energy has invested $150,000 to create the Center for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economic Development. Housed in the Carolina Environmental Program, the center will focus on the ways society responds to growing needs from energy associated with economic development, while also improving the environment.

  • Spring is a wonderful time to take in the sights and smells of the Coker Arboretum and North Carolina Botanical Garden. Current programming at the garden ranges from botanical illustration to gardening with native perennials. For more, visit www.ncbg.unc.edu.

  • StoryCorps, a national initiative to document everyday life and history through the storytelling voices of regular Americans, is coming to Chapel Hill and Durham. In partnership with North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC, StoryCorps will bring one of its mobile recording booths to the American Tobacco Campus April 3-24 and to the Morehead Planetarium April 25-30. To learn more or register for an interview slot, visit www.wunc.org.

  • The Rams Head Center has won a Best Concept Award for 2006 from Food Management magazine, one of three winners in the "best new facility" category. The nearly $80 million structure, which opened last spring along Kenan Stadium's eastern flank, features a 700-space garage with a grassy plaza for a roof. The plaza's wide, brick-lined walkways are met by a dining hall and sports café on one side and a two-story recreation center on the other. The Market Express grocery occupies one corner of the garage's ground floor.

  • Ongoing pedestrian safety efforts got another boost on Wednesday with the Yield to Heels education campaign. Volunteers distributed fliers and reflective gear to pedestrians at crosswalks across campus. The effort was coordinated by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center and our Department of Public Safety. Pedestrian safety information is available at www.hsrc.unc.edu or www.dps.unc.edu.

  • Special thanks to our neighbors in the McCauley Street/Cameron Avenue area. University staff is working closely with the town to make corrective repairs to Pittsboro Street between Cameron and McCauley, which has been closed since mid-February. Everything is in place to begin repairs once the state Department of Transportation gives us the necessary approvals. A new protective surface will elevate the roadway and preclude its damaging the steam tunnel that supplies cogeneration to much of campus.

I cannot close without saying how proud I am of how the university community has responded to two tragic events that occurred on our campus in recent weeks. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and local citizens have rallied to support one another and that which we hold dear in the wake of the Feb. 24 accidental fall at Stacy Residence Hall and the heinous March 3 hit-and-run attack in the Pit. We are grateful, too, for the response and collaboration of local law enforcement and rescue services on those two Fridays and since.

To learn more about the topics above or to find out about other campus happenings, visit www.unc.edu. See you on campus.

James Moeser is chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He welcomes readers’ messages at jmoeser@unc.edu





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