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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
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Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279
 www.unc.edu/news/

 ADVISORY

For immediate use

May 12, 2004 -- No. 272

Local angles: Guilford, Wake counties

Tar Heel Bus Tour to highlight Carolina Covenant
at Greensboro school, visit state leaders in Raleigh

Friday, May 14
Thirty-six new faculty and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will begin the fifth day and final day of the 2004 Tar Heel Bus Tour with a visit to Peck Elementary in Greensboro, that will highlight the Carolina Covenant, the university’s new initiative to provide a debt-free education to eligible low-income students.

Participants will then travel to Raleigh to visit with legislators, stop at the state’s original House of Representatives chamber and discuss issues in North Carolina and their reflections on the trip.

Tour background:
The UNC group will have traveled more than 1,000 miles in a classroom on wheels to learn about distinctly North Carolina topics ranging from tobacco to stock car racing to an economy in transition. A week with 14 educational stops is designed to teach about North Carolina’s people, geography, economy, culture, history, education system and health and social issues. The privately funded, annual tour, which began in 1997, aims to help new faculty and administrators better understand the state where 82 percent of Carolina undergraduates grow up. Participants learn firsthand about the university’s commitment to North Carolina and the people it serves. Several stops highlight UNC outreach projects. Faculty also have opportunities to learn how their own research, teaching and public service activities tie in with the state’s needs.

During the week, participants ate barbecue in Smithfield, visited tobacco farms in Bunn, learned about Neuse River water quality, visited textile and furniture factories in Mount Holly and Lenoir, toured Grandfather Mountain, visited a NASCAR racing shop in Huntersville and met with health-care professionals in Dunn and Siler City. A detailed schedule can be found at http://www.unc.edu/bustour.

Accompanying the tour participants on Friday will be tour guide Ferrel Guillory, a lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and director of the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life. Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, will serve as tour host.

Dr. Thomas James, the new dean of the School of Education, is among the bus tour participants. The bus tour and other visits James plans to make to public schools and North Carolina communities will help guide the UNC education school’s efforts to serve schools across the state.

Carolina connections: Guilford County is home to 1,034 Carolina students and 8,220 UNC alumni; Wake County to 2,939 students and 19,817 alumni.

Friday’s schedule, highlights:

10:15 a.m. Peck Elementary School, 1601 W. Florida St., Greensboro
At Peck Elementary, 82 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. Faculty and staff are using the Carolina Covenant to encourage their low-income students to work hard and stay in school.

The covenant, announced last fall by Chancellor James Moeser, will allow qualified low-income students to graduate without owing any money if they work on campus 10 to 12 hours weekly in a federal work-study job throughout their four years at Carolina. Carolina was the first U.S. public university to launch such an initiative to make college more accessible. Several other campuses, including Harvard University and the Universities of Virginia and Maryland, have followed UNC’s lead.

UNC has partnered with Peck Elementary to track fifth-grade students through middle and high school. If they are admitted to Carolina and qualify for the covenant, their expenses will be paid for all four years.

Peck Principal Francine Mallory will host the UNC visit. Herb Davis, associate director of undergraduate admissions, and Ann Trollinger, senior assistant director in the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, will explain the covenant and how Carolina will conduct the pilot program.

2 p.m. Old House of Representatives Chamber, North Carolina Capitol Building, Raleigh
Bus tour participants will gather in the Old House of Representatives Chamber on the second floor of the Capitol Building to talk about their impressions from the past week and important issues facing North Carolina.

They will be joined by Kevin FitzGerald, director of the Center for Public Technology in the School of Government and special assistant to the chancellor; Franklin Freeman, the governor’s senior assistant for governmental affairs; N.C. Sen. Richard Stevens, former chair of the UNC Board of Trustees; and David Rice, a longtime state government reporter from the Winston-Salem Journal. The Capitol Building served the Senate and House of Representatives until 1961 and is now the location for the Office of the Governor.

Interviews: Participants and tour organizers are expected to be available for print and broadcast interviews at stops. During the tour, call UNC News Services at (919) 962-2091 with questions about coverage, directions to tour stops or interviews.

Carolina Covenant background: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct03/covenant100103.html

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