This Austin H. Carr Distinguished Professorship was established in 1998 by Frank Borden Hanes Sr. in honor of Austin Carr, his best friend of more than 70 years. The two roomed together in Old East and graduated from UNC in 1942.

When asked why he honored his friend, Hanes said, “I decided in this case that memorials don’t twitch the bones the way honors do.  I’d rather twitch the bones of ‘the beloved old frog,’ as he is known, than provide the candles later.”

“Austin Carr is the sort of fellow who has a lot of thoughtfulness and charm,” Hanes said. “He’s been stalwart in his dedication to the things he appreciates in life. Carolina has been one of these. He, in his way, has done a lot for a lot of people in his being and actions and considerate nature,” Hanes said.

Hanes and Carr met at a Virginia prep school in the late 1930s and decided together to pursue English literature majors at Carolina. They went separate ways to serve in World War II—Carr served in the Army and Hanes served in the navy—but they renewed their friendship once they returned home. They served in each other’s weddings, and later became godfathers to each other’s’ children.

“No milestone or happening in my life compares to [this honor]. Nor has anything ever been more meaningful,” Carr said. “Appreciation and thanks are words too empty to use.”

A native of Durham, Carr is a retired senior executive vice president of a major advertising firm in Winston-Salem. He is the grandson of Julian S. Carr, one of UNC-Chapel Hill’s first benefactors. At Carolina, Carr was in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the Order of the Gorgon’s Head, a public service organization.

Hanes is a businessman, journalist, author and poet.  He was the founder of the Arts and Sciences Foundation and served as its board chairman for 15 years. He also served on the Board of Governors of UNC Press and was a trustee of the Morehead Foundation. He has won the university’s William R. Davie Award and the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal. Hanes has supported a number of areas in the College, including the department of English and the department of art.

(Excerpts from a 1998 UNC News Services article “An old friendship inspires a new professorship” by Sarah Madry and 1998 Carolina Connections article “Hanes honors roommate with $1 million professorship” by Sally Harris Jones.)

Austin H. Carr Distinguished Professors

2003 – 2014: John Akin

2000 – Present: Ivan Cherednik