CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW 49
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10/27/17 • 1 - 7 p.m. FPG Student Union & NC Study Center
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107 MEADOWMONT VILLAGE CIRCLE
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA
fine gifts, custom stationery,
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the hall’s dedication.
Also on hand was Dick Richardson,
a retired provost and political science
professor who chaired the Bicentennial
Observance while Hardin was chancellor.
Richardson said the essential quality of
leadership Hardin possessed was his great
comfort being himself. There is no veneer
to him. No pretense, no facade of personality to hide the real person, Richardson said.
“If you scratch deeply beneath the
surface of Paul Hardin, you will find
exactly what you find on the surface, for
this man is solid oak from top to bottom,”
Following retirement, Hardin served
one year as interim chancellor at the
University of Alabama-Birmingham, was
emeritus professor at Carolina’s law school,
spent time with his wife, three children
and his grandchildren — and kept right on
fighting governors for the soul of his state.
The Hardins participated in Moral Monday
demonstrations in Raleigh in 2013, the civil
disobedience gatherings to protest sweeping
changes to voting rights, social programs
and more made by Republican Gov. Pat
McCrory and the N.C. General Assembly.
For Hardin, having the courage to do
the unexpected, whenever the unexpected
came calling, was a principle that paid
dividends. And on a clear summer night in
1988, with the full shimmer of his former
archrival’s history under his feet and before
his eyes, the unexpected became home.
“It didn’t take Barbara and me but a few
hours to fall into the thrall of UNC-Chapel
Hill,” Hardin recalled in his oral history.
“The first night we … walked from The
Carolina Inn to the Old Well on a Sunday
with a nice, bright moon. We stood under
that Old Well, and I said, ‘This is what it’s all
about. I really now understand why people
are so unbelievably enthusiastic about this
incredible university. Don’t you feel it?’
“She said, ‘I do.’And we always have, and
we always shall.”
The University rang the South Building
bell seven times on July 8, the day of
Hardin’s memorial service — an honor
reserved for only the most significant
Beth McNichol ’ 95, a freelance writer based
in Raleigh, is a former associate editor for the
Review. This story includes reporting from