Bringing Carolina Home
Tar Heels in western North Carolina counties have high hopes for new club
Alumni spanning four counties and five decades met at the Hickory Art Museum
in January for the kickoff reception of the
new Catawba Valley Carolina Club.
The attendance ofabout 75 people for an
informational meeting about the club was
an indicator of Tar Heel pride in Catawba,
Burke, Caldwell and Alexander counties.
Activities so £1r have consisted of game
viewings and administrative meetings, but
the club plans to boost the University's
image in the region and to stress the
importance of education.
"We'll try and bring more of the resources
of the University here," said co-president
Emily Williamson ' 99, adding that the
region's residents, many of whom are facing
an economic transition away from textiles
and furnirure, need to know how they can
benefit from. UNC.
The club planned, along with other
COnUl"lUnity organizations, to bring UNC
Law School Dean Gene Nichol to
Morganton this spring. Willian1Son said the
talk would be the first of several club-
organized events that showcase the
Networking with each other and even
just watching basketball games together has
been revelatory to some.
"Folks have commented that they were
excited to learn there were so many alunmi
in the area," said Williamson,"and they
were surprised to learn that some folks they
already knew were alumni."
Those interested in starting the club
ranged in class years from 1957 to 2003,
said Emily Horton '00, who is club co-
president with Williamson. Both said they
were pleased by the mix ofyoung profes-
sionals and older alumni who are more
established in their careers.
Enthusiasm to volunteer also has been
surprising to the club's leaders, who cite the
camaraderie, opporrunities for outreach and
the chance to show the COnUl"lUnity their
return on investing in UNC. Many alumni
are interested in service activities such as
Habitat for Humanity, said Horron, and
plans are under way for student outreach
through functions such as a send-offrecep-
tion for area students headed to UNC as
freshman this £ill.
A region ofsmall towns and tight-knit
communities just a couple hours from
Chapel Hill, the Catawba Valley is home to
many UNC alUllUli who are eager to
reconnect. Carl Matheson ' 57, a former
chair of the GAA's Board of Directors who
lives in Hickory, said he hopes the alumni
club will close a gap between older and
more recent alumni.•
Nirall Vora. '05
alumni and others
visit The Palace floor.
Dr. Gary Freed ' 92 (MPH) eyes a PIston
locker, while wife Eileen and daughter
Michele watch ArIel compare shoe size.
A Key to
Tar H eels gathered with
Pistons in March to mark the
starrup of a new Detroit
Carolina Club, days before
UNC took down Michigan
State. Phil Ford ' 78, Dave
Hanners ' 76 and Pat Sullivan
' 95, all assistant coaches for
the NBA's Detroit Pistons,
helped the club welcome
about 50 local alumni to an
evening at The Palace, the
teanl's home arena.
Left to right, GAA
Dlbbsrt ' 70, Dave
Hanners ' 76, Pat
Sullivan ' 95, Detroit
club leader Dina
Mehta '01, and Phil
Ford ' 78, UNC's al~
time leading scorer.
At a Palace reception, Dave Hanners ' 76 passed around his NBA world chem~
onshlp ring from last year's victory for all to ....
CAR0 LINA ALUM NIREVlEW