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Nov. 15, 2000 -- Vol. 615
Local angles: Atlanta, Chapel Hill, Elkin, Naples, Fla.
Trustees honor four with William R. Davie Award
CHAPEL HILL -- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees today (Nov. 15) presented its prestigious William R. Davie Awards to four longtime friends of the university.
The trustees recognized "Voice of the Tar Heels" Woody Durham of Chapel Hill; former General Alumni Association president and Educational Foundation director James Harrell Sr., of Elkin; private investor and university benefactor Ben Jones III of Naples, Fla.; and R. Charles Loudermilk Sr., of Atlanta, founder and chief executive officer of Aaron Rents Inc.
Chancellor James Moeser and the trustees honored the Davie award recipients at an evening dinner at the Carolina Inn.
The Davie Award, the highest award given by UNC-CH’s trustees, is named for the Revolutionary War hero considered to be the father of the university. Created in 1984, the annual award recognizes "extraordinary service to the university or to society."
As sportscaster for the Tar Heel Sports Network, Durham has been broadcasting Carolina football and basketball games since 1971. Filling his play-by-play commentary with interesting details and facts, Durham’s excitement and enthusiasm are a broadcasting staple for devoted Tar Heel fans across the state. He has been named N. C. Sportscaster of the Year 10 times.
Durham made his first broadcast at 16, for a high school game in his hometown of Albemarle. He graduated from UNC-CH in 1963 with a degree in radio, television and motion pictures. After working at television stations in South Carolina, Greensboro and Raleigh, Durham was named vice president and executive sports director of Tar Heel Sports Marketing. He received a "Carolina Priceless Gem" award from the UNC-CH athletic department in 1994, and a Distinguished Service Medal from the General Alumni Association in 1995.
Jones, a 1950 graduate, has had a successful career in advertising, business, insurance and private investment. In 1992, he created the Thomas Wolfe Library Fund for the Academic Affairs Library to support three of Wilson Library’s special collections as well as the music and art libraries.
He serves on the Friends of the Library Board and has supported efforts to renovate House Undergraduate Library.
Jones helped establish the Doris Betts Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing, that program’s first endowed professorship. He supported the Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lectureship for a distinguished writer or scholar, the first of which was awarded to author Tom Wolfe last October. Jones also created the John L. Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Service to honor a former classmate and longtime director of the Institute of Government in 1995.
A member of Carolina’s class of 1944, Harrell earned a dentistry degree at the Medical College of Virginia and has practiced in his hometown of Elkin since 1946. He was a key advocate with the General Assembly to establish North Carolina’s first and still only dentistry school in Chapel Hill in 1949.
He is past president of the Dental Foundation of North Carolina Inc., which raises private funds to support the dental school. Harrell headed the school’s steering committee during the university’s bicentennial fund-raising campaign, received the school’s first Distinguished Service Award and, last year with his wife, Isabel, endowed a professorship in family dentistry.
He was president of the General Alumni Association, director of the Educational Foundation, chairman of his 50th class reunion and a member of the UNC-CH Board of Visitors. He has held leadership posts in professional societies, including president of the Academy of General Dentistry.
Loudermilk, who graduated with an undergraduate degree in business in 1950, started the Atlanta-based Aaron Rents, the nation’s largest furniture rental and sales company, with a $500 loan in the mid-1950s, and took the firm public in 1982.
For five decades Loudermilk has provided service to and support of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, which in September presented him with an Alumni Merit Award. Loudermilk helped support construction of the McColl Building, where the auditorium foyer bears his name, as well as the executive education classroom and administrative building at the Paul J. Rizzo Conference Center at Meadowmont. That classroom and administrative building was dedicated in September as Loudermilk Hall. He also serves on the school’s Board of Visitors and is a past member of the university’s Board of Visitors.
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Contact: Mike McFarland, 919-962-8593