Alumni Walk Into History
As it has done during previous chancellor installation ceremonies, the
GAA organized an Alumni Processional
on Polk Place, with more than 200 alumni
representing classes from 1940 to the present.
“As a witness to history on University
Day, I could see the connection of the
two events. It was overwhelming, and I
was overcome with joy. It was a uniting
moment and a great moment for women
in Carolina history,” said Debra Pickrel
’ 80 of New York, about marching in the
processional to celebrate the University’s
birthday and the installation of a new
“University Day is a great tradition. We
have a new chancellor, our first female
chancellor, with fresh ideas for the next
generation, so I had to be a part of the
event,” said Greg Perkins ’03 (MSW) of
Fayetteville, who took a day away from
work as a professor of social work at
Fayetteville State University to participate
in the procession.
“She has a scientific background. That
should pull her through as she faces some
complicated times ahead. She’ll do the
best she can,” said Sophie Cody ’ 40 of
Winston-Salem, who led the procession
and has participated in previous ones. Cody
said she was thrilled and proud to have a
woman as chancellor and believes Folt’s
academic credentials as an environmental
scientist will be important.
“University Day looks back to a wonderful
tradition and things we can be so proud
of. It’s a celebration of UNC’s history
and what’s coming in the future. And this
year we can look forward to what a new
chancellor can bring,” said Lila Friday ’ 51
“I got on Twitter and put a picture of my
Carolina blue rosette on Facebook and
posted messages. What a great day!” said
Sarah Cobb ’ 84 of Holly Springs. “Cool!
I wish I could have been there with you,”
her daughter, Shannon ’ 13, texted back.
“Folt faces some tough times, but this is
a fresh start and uplifting and can be a
chance for the University to turn a corner,”
said Danita Morgan ’ 81 of Raleigh.
For more on Folt’s installation as chancellor, see
“A Very Public 220th to You All” starting on page 20.
The day after University Day, the GAA’s Order of the Bell Tower and
Student Alumni Association joined with the
Carolina Union Activities Board and the
Executive Branch of Student Government
to sponsor Folt Fest, an informal event
for the chancellor and students. Turnout
topped 600, with students waiting in line
to pile their plates high with fried Oreos,
caramel apples, and a wide variety of other
food.Volunteers passed out popcorn and
cotton candy. Music from Clockwork
Kids, Morning Brigade and DJ A-Minor
pounded through the building.
“We wanted the students to get their own
celebration with the chancellor because we
do know that students don’t get to interact
with her as much,” said senior Brittany
Reeves, president of the GAA’s Order of
the Bell Tower.
“She’s so enthusiastic. I feel like she has
everything set, and I’m so excited to see
what she does in these next couple of
years,” said freshman Morgan Zemaitis,
after sharing her interest in environmental
issues with Folt, an internationally
recognized environmental scientist.
— Reporting by Beth Hatcher ’02,
Don Evans ’ 80 and Brian Freskos