University News

Trustees honor four for dedication, commitment and service to the University

Munroe Cobey, James Peacock, Kay Massey Weatherspoon and Leonard Wood are the recipients of the 2018 William Richardson Davie Award.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seal with fall leaves on top.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Chancellor Carol L. Folt and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees presented the board’s highest honor to four individuals who exemplify dedication, commitment and service to the University. The four recipients of the 2018 William Richardson Davie Award are Munroe Cobey of Chapel Hill, James Peacock of Chapel Hill, Kay Massey Weatherspoon of Charlotte and Leonard Wood of Atlanta, Georgia.

Established by the trustees in 1984, the William Richardson Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who introduced and won passage of a 1789 bill in the General Assembly to charter the University of North Carolina. Named for the man considered the father of UNC-Chapel Hill, the William Richardson Davie Award recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.

  • Munroe Cobeyof Chapel Hill serves on the board of directors for both the College of Arts & Sciences Foundation and the Educational Foundation. Cobey served on advisory boards for Carolina Performing Arts and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cobey and his wife, Becky, made instrumental gifts to the Educational Foundation, North Carolina Botanical Garden and UNC Children’s Hospital. They also established the Cobey First Year Seminars Course Development Fund, which supports course enhancement grants and graduate student support in the College of Arts & Sciences. Cobey earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Carolina in 1974 and met his wife Becky, class of 1975, while at Carolina.
  • James Peacock of Chapel Hill is a respected academic whose research has shaped Carolina and the understanding of global relations. He was instrumental in founding World View, a UNC-Chapel Hill public service program that prepares K-12 and community college educators to bring a global perspective into their classrooms. Peacock’s Carolina honors include the Thomas Jefferson Award, the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award and the Johnson Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as chair for the Anthropology department, Chair of the Faculty and director of the UNC Center for International Studies. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Peacock received the Franz Boas Award of the American Anthropological Association, for which he also served as president, and the Citizen of the World bestowed by the International Affairs Council. Peacock retired from teaching at Carolina in 2015. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Duke University in 1959 and went on to earn a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University.
  • Kay Massey Weatherspoon of Charlotte has championed public schools, both K-12 and higher education, her entire adult life. Weatherspoon and her husband, Van, have established multiple endowed professorships to support continued world-class and potentially life-saving research at Carolina. With her brother Knox Jr., father and family, the Weatherspoons established the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund in 1984 to support the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars. Massey Awards recognize Carolina employees for unusual, meritorious or superior contributions to the University. The Carolina Seminars lecture series gives students the opportunity to learn from influencers and thought leaders. Weatherspoon served on the Hollins University Board of Trustees and received the Hollins Medal — Hollins University’s equivalent to the Davie Award. She graduated with honors from Hollins University with a degree in Spanish in 1954. Weatherspoon married her high school sweetheart and UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus, class of 1974, Van Weatherspoon.
  • Leonard Wood of Atlanta, Georgia dedicated his life to pursuing his passion and giving back to the community. Wood currently serves on the board of Chapel Hill Foundation Real Estate Holdings, Inc. which acquires, manages and develops real estate on behalf of UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2007, Wood founded the Wood Center for Real Estate Studies at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and continues to serve as chairman of the advisory board. His career of developing apartment housing across the country includes founding Wood Partners and GLJ Partners. Wood Partners was the largest builder of multifamily homes in the United States in 2004. He is a former governor, trustee and chairman of the Multi-Family Council of the Urban Land Institute. Wood earned a bachelor’s of science degree from North Carolina State University and went on to earn an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1972.