The George L. Paddison Professorships were established in 1954 by a bequest from George Lucas Paddison.

Paddison was born in Burgaw, N.C., in 1883. He majored in chemistry at UNC and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1905. He continued his education at Kentucky State University, where he served as an instructor in chemistry while earning an M.A. degree. He moved to the University of Mississippi, where he was an assistant professor of chemistry while earning a law degree. He then practiced law in Greenwood, Miss., for five years.

In 1914, Paddison joined the West Publishing Co., a publisher of law books. He remained with the firm for 32 years, retiring in 1946 as supervisor of salesmen. Upon his retirement, he returned to his native North Carolina, where he was a farmer until his death in 1954.

In establishing the professorship, Paddison said, “I have long recognized the benefits of the University of North Carolina to my native state and to the United States, and it is my desire to encourage and inspire the love of learning and wisdom in the students of the University by helping to build up and maintain at the institution a faculty of great scholars and great teachers.”

He wanted the funds from his bequest to be used to provide a superior degree of competence and excellence in the teaching of Latin or Greek, with the number of professorships to be determined by the University, based upon the size of the fund.

George L. Paddison Professors

2001 – Present: James O’Hara
2001 – Present: William H. Race