time for social events and gave them
vouchers for arts programs.
Although the program operates on a
principle of no loans, an exception was
made to allow students to borrow anything they needed above the cost of a
semester in Chapel Hill to participate in
study abroad programs. Private donations
came in earmarked for overseas study for
“It’s huge,” Eanes said. “They go above
and beyond financial aid.”
The Covenant represents no trifling
number of UNC students. The percentage
of the undergraduate student body with
documented financial need based on the
federal standards rose steadily from 27 in
1999 to 33 last year. By fall, the Covenant
is expected to be serving about 10 percent
of all undergraduates.
The endowment will shore up the
program against changing North Carolina
demographics that are expected to create
an even greater need for it. UNC has
embarked on a second $10 million campaign. And the class of 2007 voted to
donate to the Covenant as its class gift.
Mike Ramsey’s office window allowed
him a panoramic view of the slow destruction of Venable Hall. If UNC couldn’t
have offered him something better than the
aged-out chemistry building, Ramsey
probably would be working for one of the
many other schools that wanted him.
He spent 25 years at the Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, where he rose to its
highest scientific position. He was happy
there, with two or three dozen people
working in his lab. Then, when the company spawned by his research took him
away from Tennessee for a year, he started
thinking about other horizons. His alma
mater, Indiana University, offered him an
Ramsey is one of those people in academia who can write their tickets. Topnotch research universities get that way and
stay that way because of people like him.
And his shopping ended in Chapel Hill,
where he is under full sail on UNC’s flood
tide of private money. When he came to
look, the Lowry W. and Susan S. Caudill
Laboratories and Max C. Chapman Jr. Hall,
the first two installments of the new science complex, were under construction.
Ramsey got to help the architects design
his 5,000-square-foot lab in Chapman. He
was given the Minnie N. Goldby Distinguished Professorship of Chemistry, as well
as faculty appointments in genomic sciences and biomedical engineering.
He is a pioneer in the fields of
microfluidics and nanofluidics. His work
includes the quest to downsize the mass
spectrometer, at present a large desktop
machine that enables scientists to analyze
the chemical composition of a molecule,
to make it portable — maybe even pocket
size — so that, for instance, soldiers or
security people could detect dangerous
chemical agents anywhere.
The publicly traded company that
sprang from his research, Caliper Life Sci-
package’ by his
his alma mater
and other offers;
he got to help