Duncan Cameron likely all knew each
other; six of them were trustees.
Besides The DTH cartoons in the bar
— the same space that was the inn’s first
lobby — one other aspect of the inn’s new
collection is worth noting.
For many years, the inn has had a collection of prints of John White’s 16th-cen-
tury paintings of Native Americans and fish
and other wildlife on what is now the
Outer Banks. They had become scattered,
and Zogry says at one point inn management wanted to get rid of them.
Twenty of them now hang in a single
hallway near the front desk.
He was a Carolina basketball star who
had gone off to New York to the advertising business and a seat on the stock
exchange. That’s where Frank Porter Graham went to get him back.
In the subtly posed photograph of him
in the inn’s front hallway, William D.
Carmichael ’ 21 looks a good deal more
N.Y. than N.C., dapper in a tailored suit, a
handkerchief set just right in the pocket,
generously oiled hair combed straight back.
Billy Carmichael had been a picture of
success up north, and he heeded the words
of the inn’s bronze plaque: “… a home for
returning sons and daughters of alma
mater.” He would join the first rank of
Chapel Hill leaders as comptroller and later
vice president of the Consolidated University, twice serving as acting president when
Graham was away. He was a shrewd lobbyist in the Legislature and a key figure in
the state’s hospital building campaign, the
advent of public television in the state and
the modern structure for UNC’s private
It also was his job to run the inn.
Carmichael had an equal interest in its
financial operations and its image — the
physical look of the place and the role it
played in what today would be called Carolina’s brand.
“He really was the guardian of the inn
for a long time,” Friday said. “It was the
first-impression rule with him — you
brought strangers into town, you wanted
them to see this place.”
In the pictures that line the inn hall-
ways, there’s the unmistakable aura of
those who came home — some in per-
son, some in spirit.
mentor, Horace Williams (class of 1883)
would have been proud when she stood at
the inn and told the University to use the
money for a Program in the Humanities
and Human Values.
The Hills and Moreheads and Kenans
and Grahams might leave temporarily but
never stopped coming back.
Alex Julian ’ 70 trades his design skills
with basketball uniforms and graduation
gowns for barbecue he can’t get in New
York. Jim Shumaker ’ 49 left without a
degree to do bare-knuckles journalism and
returned to teach it for more than 25 years.
African-Americans who vowed they’d
never come back were coaxed to reunions
once Carolina had changed enough. Har-
vey Beech ’ 52 was the soul and inspiration
behind the wildly
their archives. Griffith
wondered how his
latent talent ever
could have emerged
without the few
bucks’ worth of boost
the University gave
to enable him to stay
You might not
have heard of Henry
Hunter Fitts. He
helped put himself
through Carolina as a
waiter and then a
desk clerk at the inn.
Not long after he
graduated in 1939, he
started flight training.
Described as mild-
and fearsome at the
poker table, Fitts
sized up a Japanese
aircraft carrier one day in 1942 from the
bombardier’s seat of a B- 17, and he sank it.
He made the papers in his hometown of
Warrenton and all over the country.
Somebody got a picture of him in his
uniform, filling out a room check-in at the
front desk, when he made the full circle
back to the inn later that year.
Paul Rizzo ’ 50 blocked for his classmate
Charlie Justice ’ 50. He went to work for
IBM and rose to vice president for finance
and vice chair of the board. In 1987, he
found his way back and spent five years as
dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School.
May Belle Penn Jones ’ 23, a student
leader who started her career at $21 a
week and rose to CEO of two companies,
gave a farm, stocks, bonds and other property worth $1.9 million to UNC. Her
DAVID E. BROWN ’ 75 is the Review’s
senior associate editor.