2015 — in photos and stories
From graduation and the Nobel Prize to groundbreaking research partnerships and championships, 2015 marked another memorable year at Carolina.
Take a look back at what the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was up to this year with some of our favorite photos and the biggest stories from UNC.edu.
- Throughout 2015, the University of North Carolina continued to rack up more top rankings from the U.S. News & World Report, the National Science Foundation and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
- The National Science Foundation named Carolina No. 6 in federal research and No. 8 in total research. This is the second year in a row that UNC-Chapel Hill has placed in the top 10 for both categories, underscoring its rising prominence as a leader in 21st-century research in both federal and overall research spending.
- U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges” named UNC-Chapel Hill as the fifth best public school in the nation.
- Six of the University’s graduate programs were named to the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”
- For the 15th time, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Carolina the nation’s best national public school in value. Carolina also moved into the top ten ranking of public and private universities.
- Six former University of North Carolina women’s soccer players who competed in the 2015 FIFA World Cup in Canada brought home a world title this summer. Lori Chalupny, Whitney Engen, Ashlyn Harris, Meghan Klingenberg, Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly — the United States earned its third world title with a 5-2 win over Japan on July 5. During the tournament, Carolina players represented four countries — the United States, Canada, New Zealand and England. A total of nine Tar Heels represented their home nations in the World Cup — the most of any U.S. university.
- The University welcomed two new deans this year as Kevin Guskiewicz was named the leader of the College of Arts and Sciences and Martin Brinkley became the 14th dean of the UNC School of Law.
- Aziz Sancar became the second UNC-Chapel Hill faculty member to receive the Nobel Prize as winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Sancar traveled to Stockholm, Sweden in December to officially receive his Nobel Medal.
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received nearly $447 million in commitments in fiscal 2015 to mark the best fundraising year in University history. Even without the $100 million commitment from Fred Eshelman to the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the University still would have broken its fundraising record, topping the previous mark of $342.8 million set in 2008.
- The University officially announced the formation of a jointly owned company with GlaxoSmithKline that will be dedicated to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. In a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, the two organizations will combine resources to launch the HIV Cure center and Qura Therapeutics.
- In partnership with Nike, UNC Athletics refreshed its marks and colors to create a consistent look to one of the most recognized brands in college sports. All 28 North Carolina varsity sports began showcasing consistent colors, logos, lettering and numerals.
- While the year presented much to celebrate, it was also a year of mourning at Carolina as the University community grappled with the deaths of students, a former chancellor and an iconic coach.
- Former men’s basketball coach Dean E. Smith who passed away Feb. 7 at the age of 83. The community gathered at the Smith Center later in the month to honor his legacy.
- Thousands of students filled the Pit for a candlelight vigil to following the deaths of Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha, who were killed Feb. 10 along with Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Barakat was a dental student; his wife, Yusor, planned attend to the School of Dentistry this year; and Razan, Yusor’s sister, was a student at N.C. State. Later in the year, Dental School students honored the legacies of the three with a day of service.
- The South Building bell rang 10 times in memory of former Chancellor William B. Aycock who passed away June 22. Aycock began his career as a high school history teacher and became a distinguished professor and chancellor of the University during a period of tremendous growth and social and political upheaval.