The Henry A. Latané Distinguished Professorship in Economics was established in 1985 by Felicite Bibb Latané, in memory of her husband, a nationally known financial authority and the first Meade H. Willis Professor of Investment Banking.

In 1987, their son, Bibb Latané, added to the fund established by his mother, so that it would qualify for matching state funds. Their gift of $333,000 was supplemented with $167,000 in matching funds from the State of North Carolina Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund to create a $500,000 endowed professorship.

Henry Latané was born in 1907 in Buchanan, Va. He earned a B.A. from the University of Richmond in 1928 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1930. His career first took him to New York City, where he became one of Wall Street’s premier financial analysts during the 1930s and 1940s. He worked for Bankers Trust Co. from 1930 to 1940 and Lionel D. Edie and Co. from 1940 to 1951.

In 1951, Latané came to UNC to earn his Ph.D. in economics, which he completed in 1958. In 1960, he was appointed professor of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of finance in the School of Business. In 1969, he was the first recipient of the Meade H. Willis Professorship in Investment Banking. His research areas were portfolio management, income velocity and interest rates and corporate earnings. Latané was a pioneer in the rigorous numerical analysis of financial decision-making. He also wrote a popular textbook, Security Analysis and Portfolio Management. He retired in 1980 and died in 1984.

Felicite Latané, a native of Selma, Ala., was born in 1908. She was educated at Smith College and did graduate work at Carolina. A donation from Felicite allowed the Animal Protection Society of Orange County to purchase a 20-acre site and to begin construction on the first phase of the Felicite Latané Animal Sanctuary in Bingham Township. She died in May 1999.

Their son, Bibb, earned his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He taught at Columbia University and Ohio State University before becoming director of the Institute for Research in Social Science and professor of psychology at UNC. He is currently director of the Center for Human Science in Chapel Hill.

Felicite and Henry’s daughter, Julie (B.A. ’63), earned her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware and was a professor of psychology at Juniata College before her death in 1976.

The endowment of the distinguished professorship was not the first gift the Latané family made to UNC-CH. Before his death, Henry Latané established the Latané Fund for Interdisciplinary Research in the Behavioral Sciences.

Henry A. Latané Distinguished Professor

1993-2003: Ronald Gallant

2004-2011: Eric M. Renault