The question arises: How much to get
my name on the building? More to the
point, how is the University to guide the
setting of prices?
Privately, some members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Naming
University Facilities and Units, which
screens proposed namings and advises the
development office, worry that UNC didn’t get enough for FedEx, for which the
company paid $5 million, and the science
buildings the Caudill laboratories ($3 million) and Max C. Chapman Jr. Hall ($5
But they agree there are so many variables in naming negotiations, it might defy
Variable No. 1: Sometimes you take
what you can get, and that appears to have
been the case with the global education
building. The University aimed high,
engaging a boutique Boston architect to
design a modern building to capitalize on
the potential synergy of putting international programs and visiting foreign scholars under one roof.
“We had an identified dollar goal for
the naming,” said Matt Kupec ’ 80, vice
chancellor for University advancement.
“We talked to a number of people with little success.” The naming price was reset at
$5 million before the talk with FedEx,
“Would you want more? Sure. We don’t
want to give it away,” he added. “Raising
money for capital projects is challenging.
People generally give for people [professor-ships] and programs.” He said only 12 to
15 percent of the designated gifts in a typical fundraising campaign are for capital
Former Provost Dick Richardson was
chair of the naming committee when the
FedEx offer was considered. “I said, they
pay $2.6 million for 30-second Super Bowl
ads,” Richardson said. “There were some
who said this was not a valid analogy. I’m
not saying it was one-to-one analogous.
But in terms of a corporate expense, it was
quite a bargain.”
The committee and the development
office have talked about setting a percentage of construction cost as the requirement
for a nameplate.
Shelley Earp ’ 70 (MD), director of the
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
and now chair of the committee, said 20
NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION
William Rand Kenan Jr. (class of 1894), whose family’s name blankets the campus.
percent might be reasonable. “It’s not a science, but I think some rationality is important,” he said. And while he said some
recently named buildings didn’t bring in
enough money, the naming is not always
the end of the story.
“There may be an amount in the will
that we’ll get later, may in some cases even
be an agreement for future donations. In
some cases, giving and then seeing what
your gift does could make them want to
“The idea a donor would build a building used to be kind of foreign to us.
Fundraising is almost a new plaything at
Carolina — we found out our alumni
really do like us.”
The naming committee faced a more
fundamental question in the run-up to the
completion of the Global Education Center. Does Carolina want to be in the business of putting corporate names on its
buildings? Its members said yes to FedEx,
and Kupec’s office was solidly behind it.
It was a single-case decision, not a policy vote.
“I know the leaders of FedEx very
well,” Kupec said. “It’s a global company.
We think it’s a good fit in terms of that
company and their reputation. It [global
education] is what the building is all
about.” He said he expects that FedEx,
which is building a hub at the airport in
Greensboro, will do more at Carolina, such
as sponsoring visits by world leaders and
But the committee was not unanimous.
journalism professor and former Faculty
Chair Jane Brown voted no. “I think I’d be
Kenans and Moreheads
These names keep coming up. Kenan
Stadium and Kenan Field House were
gifts of William Rand Kenan Jr. (class of
1894); Kenan Residence Hall was named
to honor his sister, Mary Lily Kenan
Flagler, for her establishment of the
Kenan professorships. The Kenan
Laboratories building was named for
William Rand Kenan Jr. but was not built
with his money. A subsidiary of the
William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust built
the Kenan Center, which houses the
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The
Kenan Football Center was built with a
lead gift from Frank Hawkins Kenan ’ 35,
William Rand Kenan Jr.’s second cousin.
Now under construction: The Kenan
Music Building, with a gift from the charitable trust.
The Morehead Building, home of the
planetarium, was a gift of John Motley
Morehead III (class of 1891), and he and
Rufus Lenoir Patterson (class of 1851)
funded the Bell Tower together.
Standing side-by-side on South Road,
tall and — well, let’s just say tall — are
the Kenan and Morehead chemistry laboratories. These buildings are honors, neither built with the families’ money. John
Motley Morehead said he discovered calcium carbide, and William Rand Kenan Jr.
believed Francis Venable discovered it
and that he, Kenan, did the verification
work. It’s never been settled.
A Name as Protection
The Dissecting House. Victory Village.
The Scuttlebutt. Does not having a
person’s name make it easier to tear
down a building? Of the 21 buildings and
one complex of buildings demolished
since 1900, only six carried the names of