Dear Carolina Community,
I became an exercise and sport scientist for the intellectual challenge, the chance to make a difference in the lives of athletes and their families — and because I love sports. I love the excitement, the competition and the teamwork. And I love the way teams unite people from all walks of life, creating moments of joy, heartbreak and connection shared by thousands or even millions of people at once.
We’ll see plenty of those moments in Kenan Stadium tomorrow night when the Tar Heels host the Florida A&M Rattlers. Generations of people with deep connections to Carolina, plenty of friends visiting campus for the first time, and the family and fans of the visiting team, all remind us that we’re part of a much wider higher education community.
Florida A&M is the fourth-largest historically Black university in the country. It’s a land-grant university, founded in 1887 as part of a wave of new industrial and agricultural schools that widened access to college in the United States and helped create the model of publicly focused research universities that drive America’s excellence in higher education to this day.
Partnerships with HBCUs deepen our commitment to access and increase our impact. For example, we are partnering with North Carolina A&T, the largest HBCU in the country and our fellow UNC System campus, on research projects that challenge the status quo, spark our curiosity and build our collective future. Faculty and students from both our schools are working together to solve the problems facing the citizens of North Carolina and beyond.
This weekend, we’ll be celebrating the role that HBCUs play in shaping American higher education. Today, I’m enjoying spending time with chancellors of our UNC System HBCUs sharing career advice with our students. Even if you aren’t coming to Saturday’s game, I hope you’ll stop by the Tar Heel Town pregame celebration on Polk Place and enjoy some of the food trucks. The Marching Tar Heels and FAMU’s Marching 100 will perform there and during half time as well.
I’ll be there, cheering along, making new friends, and feeling grateful for all that Carolina does to bring people together.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz