Distinguished alumni to receive awards University Day

Todd Miller, founder of the N.C. Coastal Federation, is among the alums who will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award on University Day,.

Todd Miller, founder of the N.C. Coastal Federation, is among the alums who will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award on University Day.

As part of the Oct. 12 University Day ceremony to install Carol L. Folt as the 11th chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, five Carolina alumni will receive Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Awards and another the Edward Kidder Graham Award. Many of the alums have ties to the College.

The Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award was created in 1971 to recognize “alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that brought credit to the University.” This year’s recipients are:

  • Stuart Bondurant, professor and dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine and a native of Winston-Salem. After attending Carolina, he earned his B.S. and M.D. degrees from Duke University. At the National Heart Institute, he led the establishment of the first national program of myocardial infarction research. He served as dean of the UNC School of Medicine from 1979 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 1997. Bondurant Hall is named for him.
  • William Easterling III, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State and a Chapel Hill native. With three degrees from Carolina — a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D. in geography — Easterling is now an internationally recognized expert on how global warming likely will affect the Earth’s food supply. He assisted with production of the groundbreaking National Academy of Sciences report, “Changing Climate.” He was a coordinating lead author on the report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
  • Karol Mason

    Karol Mason


    Karol Mason, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs and a native of Amityville, N.Y. With a B.S. in mathematics from UNC and a law degree from the University of Michigan, Mason was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1983. She joined the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird, where she became the first African American woman to achieve partner status in a major Atlanta law practice. Before taking on her current role in the Obama administration, she served as U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General, where she led the Defending Childhood Initiative and helped create the Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.
  • Todd Miller, founder and executive director of the N.C. Coastal Federation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ocean, and a native of Carteret County. Miller received a B.A. in urban studies and an M.A. in city and regional planning. Since 1982, the federation has worked with all 20 of the state’s coastal counties to take an active role in the stewardship of coastal water quality and natural resources. Led by Miller, who earned two degrees from Carolina, the federation has protected and restored more than 50,000 acres of coastal waters and habitats and helped North Carolina to adopt some of the most effective coastal management safeguards in the nation
  • Gary Parr

    Gary Parr


    Gary Parr, who grew up in Charlotte, vice chairman of Lazard Ltd., a global financial advisory firm. A Carolina graduate with an MBA from Northwestern University, Parr is a longtime investment banker who provides strategic advice and advising on mergers and acquisitions for financial institutions. Through the Gary W. Parr Family Foundation, he established the Parr Center for Ethics in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, which addresses a broad and innovative range of ethical issues.

The Edward Kidder Graham Award, established in 2010 to recognize outstanding service by a member of the voting faculty at Carolina, is another honor bestowed on University Day. This year’s recipient is Bruce Cairns of Pittsboro, medical director of the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center since 2007 and director of research since 2003. A graduate of Johns Hopkins with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Navy veteran, Cairns is the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at UNC.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and local residents are invited to attend the installation ceremony on University Day. The festivities on Polk Place will begin at 1:30 p.m. with special music and a processional of faculty, students, staff, alumni, visiting dignitaries and other leaders. A public reception will follow on Polk Place, near Wilson Library.

For updates on University Day activities and more details about the award winners, visit www.unc.edu/installation.