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June 2006
Triumphs worth cheering
By Chancellor James Moeser The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for The Chapel Hill Herald

 

As you read this, Susan and I will be in Omaha with the Tar Heel baseball team, hopefully fresh from a Saturday victory over Oregon State in the first game of the championship round of the NCAA College World Series. This talented team, ably led by Coach Mike Fox and his staff, has been a pleasure to watch in its bid to win our first national championship in baseball. I can also tell you, based on close observation and personal interaction with the players, that these are really great kids. They represent North Carolina values to a national ESPN audience. And I know they appreciate the strong support from local fans.

Our student-athletes are achieving in the classroom and learning leadership skills that will serve them for a lifetime. Under Athletics Director Dick Baddour, the Carolina Leadership Academy, launched two years ago, is a national model.

This training program for student-athletes, coaches and administrators develops leadership skills through interactive workshops, 360-degree feedback, one-on-one coaching, peer mentoring and educational resources. More than 500 student-athletes have completed the program.

Our teams give the community much to cheer about. Here are some other recent milestones:

*Professor Phil Singer, a Chapel Hill resident who directs the UNC Drinking Water Research Center in the School of Public Health, has won the National Water Research Institute's Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Over his 37-year career, Singer has advanced awareness and understanding of water chemistry and drinking water treatment.

*The Chapel Hill Preservation Society recently presented its Award of Merit to Memorial Hall, which reopened in September after an extensive renovation and expansion. Memorial Hall anchors our plans for the Arts Common, which will benefit the entire community.

*The James Lee Love House at 410 E. Franklin St., built around 1887 and named for the Carolina mathematics professor who lived in it with his wife, June Spencer Love, and her mother, Cornelia Phillips Spencer, is undergoing renovations and will be joined by an addition named for the late James A. Hutchins Jr., a 1937 UNC graduate. The Love House and Hutchins Forum will house our Center for the Study of the American South when it opens in 2007.

*The federal government recently named UNC among the nation's 1,500 "Best Workplaces for Commuters," one of just 72 colleges and universities to make the list. The Environmental Protection Agency praised our efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, gasoline use, miles traveled and vehicle trips. We are proud of this recognition for providing an array of transportation alternatives for our employees.

*To advance the work of the Carolina North Leadership Advisory Committee, I wrote to Mayors Foy and Chilton, pledging that the university wouldn't seek 17,000 parking spaces at Carolina North. I have been pleased by the positive response, and look forward to continued productive discussions by the LAC when it meets next month. We asked the committee to develop principles that will guide the university's future plans.

*Thanks to the many of you who participated in the 18th annual Carolina Blood Drive on June 6 at the Smith Center. The event, one of the nation's largest, attracted 784 people, including 139 first-time donors, and it produced 860 units of blood -- enough to supply almost 70 percent of the needs for one day of all of the hospitals served by our region of the American Red Cross.

*Now is a wonderful time to take in the sights and smells of the campus' Coker Arboretum -- a short walk from Franklin Street -- and the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

*If you seek relief from the summer heat, the Ackland Art Museum has three featured exhibitions running through the summer: "Up Close and Personal Portraits of the Artist," "Books in Costume: The Batcheller Collection of Designer Bindings and Book Objects by the Sobota Family" and "Imaging Church: Place, Practice and People."

*It's not too early to purchase season tickets for the array of performances brought to this community by PlayMakers Repertory Company and the Carolina Performing Arts Series for the 2006-07 season. PlayMakers' season includes adaptations of two best-selling books -- Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" and Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie." The Carolina Performing Arts Series' second season opens in September with more than 50 performances.

In closing, I invite you to join in a belated birthday wish recognizing the contributions and leadership of the university's founder, William R. Davie. Last Thursday marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Davie, the "father" of the university.

Earlier this month, a team of student, faculty and staff researchers from the anthropology department wrapped up an excavation at Davie's home site, called Tivoli, just over the South Carolina line. Their research will complement our understanding of this important historical figure, as does an exhibit in the North Carolina Collection Gallery at Wilson Library. It showcases nearly 50 artifacts, books, images and documents relating to Davie and runs through June 30.

For more on the happenings at Carolina, visit www.unc.edu. See you around campus. And, go Heels!

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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