■ $10 million was earmarked for the
Carolina Covenant, a national model program that enables students from low-income families to graduate debt-free.
■ The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable
Trust pledged $27 million to challenge
other donors to help create 10 eminent
professorships priced at $3 million each.
■ Numerous individuals and companies
found the Study Abroad Program attractive, funding upward of 100 scholarships.
■ The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation got
Carolina started on a partnership to
enhance student transfers from community
colleges in its area.
■ The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation chipped in large grants for clinical trials
for drugs to treat African sleeping sickness.
■ Barbara ’ 83 and Pitt Hyde ’ 65, whose
donations built the building that houses the
Institute for the Arts and Humanities,
added a $5 million pledge to endow the
institute’s Academic Leadership Program.
Chemistry Chair Thorp Chosen
as Dean of Arts and Sciences
A ‘transformative’ gift
Dennis Gillings is the chair and CEO
of Quintiles, the world’s leading pharmaceutical services company, based in
Research Triangle Park. Joan Gillings has
had careers in public health, including at
the school that now bears her name, and
commercial real estate.
Dennis Gillings was a professor in the
School of Public Health’s biostatistics
department from 1971 to 1988. While at
the school, he and others applied the latest
methodologies to analyze clinical trial data
for pharmaceutical companies and others.
Born in London, Gillings earned three
mathematics degrees in England, after
which he joined the UNC faculty. By
1981, Gillings had become a full professor
and was named director of UNC’s Biometric Consulting Laboratory.
As a result of the gift the public health
school, currently top-ranked nationally
among those at public universities by U.S.
News & World Report, will create what it
calls competitively selected Innovation
Laboratories. Faculty may be from the
School of Public Health but also from
other schools at UNC and from the private sector as well. The laboratories also
will provide support for selected students as
they conduct research.
The University looked inside its faculty for the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Holden
Thorp ’ 86, a 14-year member of the chemistry department and currently its chair, will
assume the deanship July 1, pending
approval by the trustees.
A highly regarded classroom teacher,
Thorp, 42, already has spent four years in a
significant administrative job as director of
the Morehead Planetarium and Science
Center, where he presided over a turnaround in the financially ailing planetarium,
sparked a big interest in children’s science
camps and boosted the center’s fundraising.
The college comprises the vast majority
of the undergraduate academic units on
the campus, including 54 academic departments and more than 1,500 faculty and
staff. Among the dean’s responsibilities are
decisions on faculty hiring, retention and
advancement, and fundraising.
Thorp, Kenan professor of chemistry
who graduated from UNC with highest
honors and earned his doctorate in chemistry at California Institute of Technology
in 1989, said he had
some catching up to
do in the humanities.
“I’m looking forward to learning
about what inspires
creativity in all these
Thorp told The Daily
Holden Thorp ’ 86
Tar Heel. “I know
about how scientists come up with original
things to do, but I have no idea about how
historians and Shakespeare scholars do that.”
A Fayetteville native, he has won more
than a dozen teaching- and research-related
He was named in 2002 an honorary
member of the Order of the Golden
Fleece, the campus’s oldest honorary society. He is a recipient of the General
Alumni Association’s Distinguished Young
He delivered the December Commencement address last year.
Thorp holds 18 U.S. patents and has
published more than 130 academic papers.
Morehead continued from page 3
the U.S. was established two years later.
Gordon and Mary Cain have no direct
connection to the University. They met
people close to UNC while spending summers for about 20 years in Linville in the
North Carolina mountains, and they also
had friends among Morehead alumni in
Texas, according to Morehead Executive
Director Chuck Lovelace ’ 77.
“They were more interested in the program and what it’s doing for young leaders,” Lovelace said. “The Cain family came
to admire the long-term impact of the
Morehead program.” He said the Cains had
considered starting a program on the
Morehead model at another university but
decided instead to endow this one.
Lovelace said that he expected the program would be able to offer about 75
scholarships a year and that it would be
able to do more with its summer programs.
In addition to all-expense-paid undergraduate study, the scholars prepare for their
freshman years in an outdoor leadership
experience, such as Outward Bound, then
in subsequent summers work in public
service projects, design their own travel-study experiences and get entry-level-equivalent jobs in businesses or nonprofits.
The program will look at other expansions, such as breaks during the academic
career to pursue research, and strengthening ties between the scholars and alumni of
the program, Lovelace said.
“The Cains expect us to extend the
reach of the program nationally and make
sure the Morehead experience remains the
premier undergraduate experience,” he
said. “Clearly it is a transformational gift —
we have challenged our students, and we
are now challenged in the same way.”
More than 2,600 students have gone
through the Morehead program.
Asked how it felt to be adding to the
Morehead nameplate, Lovelace said: “
Obviously, we all have nostalgic twinges, but
there’s no one I’ve met who wants to deny
a student the same experience they had as
a Morehead Scholar. It perpetuates our
legacy rather than detract from it.”