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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

May 7, 2004 -- No. 256

Local angles: Chatham, Forsyth, Harnett counties

Tar Heel Bus Tour to visit health centers and learn about changing populations

Tuesday, May 11

Thirty-six new faculty and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will begin the second day of the 2004 Tar Heel Bus Tour with a visit to the Tri-County Community Health Center in Dunn, which provides care to the area’s low-income residents. The bus tour will then head to Siler City for a lesson on the diversity of North Carolina’s populations and Winston-Salem for a dinner in historic Old Salem.

Tour background:

The UNC group will travel 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 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 will learn firsthand about the university’s commitment to North Carolina and the people it serves. Several stops will highlight UNC outreach projects. Faculty also will have opportunities to learn how their own research, teaching and public service activities tie in with the state’s needs.

During the week, participants will eat barbecue in Smithfield, visit textile and furniture factories in Mount Holly and Lenoir, tour Grandfather Mountain, visit a NASCAR racing shop in Huntersville, tour tobacco farms in Bunn, learn about Neuse River water quality and visit an elementary school in Greensboro to learn how the university’s Carolina Covenant, a new debt-free initiative for low-income students, is being received around the state. A detailed schedule can be found at

Chancellor James Moeser will be with the tour in Dunn. Other university representatives joining tour participants include Dr. Judith Wegner, chair of the UNC faculty and a law professor, and tour guide Dr. James Leloudis, director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, associate professor of history and associate dean for honors. Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, will serve as tour host.

Carolina connections:
Chatham County is home to 194 Carolina students and 1,202 alumni; Forsyth County, to 709 students and 5,830 alumni; Harnett County, to 83 students and 618 alumni.

Tuesday’s schedule, highlights:

10 a.m. Tri-County Health Center, 3331 Easy St., Dunn

Participants will meet with members of the Community Advisory Committee from the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to learn about HOPE Works, a program for women. The program focuses on healthy eating, stress reduction and career counseling. Faculty and administrators will learn more about the grassroots effort, which evolved in 1999 as part of the university’s response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd.

1 p.m. Siler City Presbyterian Church, 720 W. Third St., Siler City

Over the past decade, Siler City’s Latin American population has grown by more than 400 percent. Faculty and administrators will meet with representatives of Chatham Hospital, UNC’s department of family medicine and representatives and clients of the Chatham Family Resource Center to learn about the efforts underway to address the needs of the growing Latino population.

7:45 p.m. Old Salem

Salem was founded by members of the Moravian Church in 1766 as the central town for the church’s commercial and religious efforts in the South. Today, Old Salem is a historical restoration site, where costumed interpreters recreate late eighteenth and early 19th-century life. The UNC group will enjoy a traditional Moravian dinner in the Single Brothers Workshop and hear from Thomas W. Ross, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem.

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.

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