YOURS AT CAROLINA
He likely would have left the memorial service held in his honor early; the words of tribute he’d earned would have made him uncomfort-
able. He viewed his many years of service as a coach,
counselor, lawyer and teacher as his public duty. Many
work quietly, but effectively, behind the scenes. The
Bill Aycocks, who too seldom grace our
lives, warrant remembering for a long
time — exemplars of what servant leader-
ship should be. I was fortunate to have
worked closely with Bill and to have him
as a beloved friend. I was greatly honored
to speak the following remarks at his
memorial service on Oct. 21 about his
lifelong love affair with Carolina:
Bill Aycock ’ 65 was a Tar Heel.
“Some, they say, are born with silver
spoons in their mouths. Bill Aycock must have come
into the world with tar on his heels and a lawyer’s brief-
case in his hands. Born in Alabama, Bill came to Car-
olina while still in diapers. Part of his growing up was in
Victory Village. Polk Place was his backyard, Woollen
Gym his playground; Emerson Field was Bill’s sandlot,
the brick walkways his sidewalk to school and church.”
Those were the opening words of the citation on the
occasion of Bill’s receiving the General Alumni Associa-
tion’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1999.
Bill always reflected an inner peace and a quiet confidence, which most certainly came from a joyful childhood
provided by his loving and values-driven parents, Grace
and Bill, to whom he remained fiercely devoted. Seldom
did he come to an alumni association board meeting
without first visiting his parents. When his mother passed
away, Bill often would stop by Carolina Meadows before
and after our meetings. There was very little doubt that
his dad was his hero and his best friend.
The General Alumni Association was most fortunate
to enjoy Bill’s long, dedicated leadership and service for
28 years — as a district director, vice chair, chair and
volunteer counsel. He contributed wise, thoughtful
leadership on a wide range of issues. As board chair, he
served on the Chancellor Search Committee. He
encouraged the association to launch the General
Alumni Association Scholars. As counsel, he conscientiously reviewed many contracts, skillfully crafted
needed language to protect the association’s interests,
and brought focus and clarity to every issue. The association is forever grateful for his exemplary service and
leadership. Personally, I will miss his friendship greatly,
for along his journey with our association, Bill became
an older brother I never had.
Bill was a longstanding member of the Rams Club
and could be seen regularly in the Smith Center and
Kenan Stadium — always with his oversized binoculars.
I awaited and always enjoyed Bill’s keen analysis of the
previous day’s game. And while he faithfully supported
our Tar Heels, as a longtime fan, he was quick to share
his frustrations with an official’s errant call or when
disappointed by one of our players or coaches. I’ll
forever cherish the Carolina baseball games we attended
As a member of the University’s Board of Visitors
and, with his wife, Alexa, the board of visitors of the
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, as visiting
lecturer in the UNC law school and a member of its
alumni association board, Bill always preferred a low
profile and never wanted credit.
As a child, a friend once told me “you cannot love
something that cannot love you back.” Well, Bill loved
Carolina, and Carolina loved him back. He met his
devoted, loving and courageous Alexa when both were
Bill’s family was his north star. All Tar Heels, his
parents, his wife, sister and brother-in-law, his daughter,
his son, daughter-in-law and grandson — together and
individually, in Chapel Hill, on Figure Eight Island or
here in Greensboro, no opportunity for additional billable hours on behalf of his many valued clients could
prompt him to compromise on his much cherished time
Chapel Hill’s James Taylor concludes his North Car-
Yes, William Preston Aycock II was and always will
olina anthem — Carolina in My Mind — with these
words: “Yes, I’m gone. Say nice things about me. Yes,
I’m gone. Carry on without me. I’m gone.”
Bill has now gone to where the skies are forever
Carolina blue, where Tar Heels always win and where
he has found the peace he was seeking and so deserved.
For those whose lives he touched and forever enriched,
he takes with him our eternal gratitude.
be a Tar Heel.
Hark the sound.
Yours at Carolina,
Douglas S. Dibbert ’ 70
For more, see “Carolina Loses Wise Counselor, ‘Great
Teacher,’ ‘Tireless Friend,’” page 74.
104 November/December 2013
Remembering a Special Tar Heel Friend