The Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professorship
The Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences was established in 1987 by her son, Maurice John Koury (’48 BA), a Burlington businessman.
His gift of $333,000 was supplemented with $167,000 in state-matching funds from the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund to create a $500,000 endowed professorship.
In announcing the gift in her honor, Koury said of his mother, “She was an inspiration to me. It was her guidance and care that prepared me to pattern my life.”
A native of Burlington, Maurice Koury was born in 1929. He is the owner of Carolina Hosiery Mills Inc. and has been a developer of hotels and motels. Active in civic affairs in his hometown, he also devotes much of his time to support Carolina.
In recognition of his generous support, the University named its new swimming complex the Maurice J. Koury Natatorium. This facility is located adjacent to the Dean E. Smith Center; the two are connected by an underground tunnel. Koury was one of the leaders of a campaign for the two facilities that exceeded its $30 million goal. He also made a major gift to the new George Watts Hill Alumni Center building fund. In 2008, the university named a residence hall in honor of Koury.
Koury has twice served as president of the Educational Foundation and as a member of the Board of Trustees. He has served as a member of the UNC-CH Endowment Board, as chairman of the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees and as a member of the National Development Council. He also was a member of the University’s Board of Visitors and the Board of the Directors of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, which supports the health affairs academic and research programs. He was awarded the General Alumni Association Distinguished Service Medal in 1994.
Married to the former Ann Kirkpatrick of Graham, Koury is the son of Lebanese immigrants, John Abdou and Edna Jerdini Koury. Edna Koury was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1900 and moved with her husband to the United States in 1919. She died in 1972.
Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor
2002 – Present: Susan Wolf