The Burton Craige Professorships in Jurisprudence were established in 1941 by the late Burton Craige of Salisbury and Winston-Salem.

An attorney, historian, author and philanthropist, Craige made the gift in memory of his father, Kerr Craige (B.A. 1863) and his grandfather Burton Craige (B.A. 1829, M.A. 1847). Both men were prominent attorneys and statesmen: Kerr Craige was assistant postmaster general under President Grover Cleveland; Burton Craige was a legislator and author of the Resolution of Secession for North Carolina. Craige’s grandfather also established the law firm of Craige & Craige, one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in the state.

The youngest Craige was born in Salisbury in 1875. He enrolled in the University in 1893 and received his B.A. in 1897, graduating at the head of his class. Craige taught school in Salisbury and Oxford before returning to Chapel Hill to attend law school. He was the counsel for Reynolds Tobacco Co., a director of Wachovia Bank & Trust Co. and a co-founder of Rowan Memorial Hospital.

Craige served in the N.C. General Assembly and was a trustee of Salem College and UNC. He also was a member of the N.C. Commission for the Revision of the State Constitution. The University presented Craige with an honorary LL.D. in 1939. His degree citation described him as “one of the most unassumingly useful and widely esteemed citizens of our State.”

When Craige established the professorships, he said it was his “wish to encourage and inspire at Chapel Hill a love of political or legal wisdom, in its broader terms, with some knowledge of the philosophy and history of our own constitutional governments, state and federal, and their interpretation and administration.” Professors in the School of Law and the Department of Political Science are eligible to hold the professorships.

Craige married the former Jane Boyden in 1911. They had three children: Burton, who died as a child; Archibald; and Jane, who married Gordon Gray, president of the UNC system from 1950 until 1955.

Burton Craige died in 1945.

Burton Craige Professors

Robert G. Byrd (1931-2010)

2007-present:  Pamela Conover

1993-present:  Elizabeth Gibson

David Lowery

1998-present:  Michael MacKuen

2004-present:  Gary W. Marks

2002-2011:  George Rabinowitz (-2011)

Richard J. Richardson

1993-present:  Donald D. Searing