University News

University Day updates

Although Carolina won't be hosting a traditional University Day celebration on Oct. 12, we will celebrate the anniversary of the nation's first public university through special content posted on unc.edu and our social media channels.

Plaque from the dedication of Old East.
In the 1800's, the brass plate commemorating the laying of Old East's cornerstone went missing but was returned decades later. The 2018 University Day celebration marked the 100th anniversary of the plate's return. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

This is the time of year when we prepare to celebrate University Day, which honors the laying of the cornerstone of Old East and celebrates our legacy as the nation’s first public university. While this semester continues to have a different look and feel, and we are unable to gather as usual, we have modified our plans for how we will celebrate the University’s 227th birthday on Oct. 12.

At 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11, we will install Kevin M. Guskiewicz as our 12th chancellor. More information will be shared by our Board of Trustees Chair Richard Stevens later today. The installation of a chancellor is always a significant moment in the University’s history that allows us to recognize our past while looking ahead to a brighter future.

Because we are celebrating virtually on Oct. 11, we will not host a separate University Day ceremony on Oct. 12, and classes will be held as scheduled. We made this decision to allow our students, faculty and staff to remain focused on their important scholarly work, and we will celebrate University Day through special content posted on unc.edu and on our social media channels. Our schools and units are also planning other programming around installation and University Day, and we will keep you updated on those events.

In keeping with University Day tradition, we will present Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards to a slate of deserving recipients, including Anuba Anand, Francis Collins, Mary Estes, Daniel Patterson, Peter Skillern and Marla Smith-Nilson. Nick Didow, associate professor of marketing in the Kenan-Flagler Business School, will receive the Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award.

In addition, the Employee Forum will present its inaugural Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage to James Holman, crew leader in Housekeeping Services. Rebecca Clark (1915-2009), a former UNC-Chapel Hill staff member, African-American political activist and civil rights organizer, fought against unequal pay and workplace discrimination. Clark is an important figure in the University’s history: she always stood up for her fellow workers and advocated for better working conditions.

Thank you in advance for your understanding as we continue to navigate this challenging time together. I look forward to the day when we can gather safely and resume the Carolina traditions that we cherish.


Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost