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From left, Distinguished Service Award recipient Alston Gardner, Board Chair James Alexandre and Dean Karen Gil. (photo by Mary Lide Parker)

University trustee and Carolina alumnus Alston Gardner ’77 has received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service to the College of Arts and Sciences.

The award, established in 2010 by the Arts and Sciences Foundation, recognizes volunteers who have served the College with “extraordinary distinction,” said Dean Karen Gil.

Gardner was honored at the Nov. 2 meeting of the Arts and Sciences Foundation Board of Directors during a joint presentation by Dean Gil and Board Chair James Alexandre.

They recognized Gardner as an early and visionary champion of global engagement and learning.

Gardner and his wife Barb Lee have established and generously supported the Southeast Asia Summer Program, which has provided a remarkable opportunity for scores of Carolina students to gain a meaningful and substantive introduction to Asia. They also produced a video that has helped raise more than $18 million for study abroad scholarships.

In addition, Gardner has served as:

  • A leader and major contributor to the construction of the FedEx Global Education Center;
  • The founding chair of the University’s Advisory Board for International and Area Studies;
  • A member of the steering committee for the Carolina First campaign, which raised $2.38 billion for UNC; and
  • A member of the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle, charged with finding ways to incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation into UNC’s teaching, research and service mission.

Gardner has served as a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees since 2007 and is playing a leading role in shaping the Board’s 21st Century Vision of the Public University through discussions about models of undergraduate education.

UNC alumna Mary Anne Dickson ’63 also received the 2012 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service at a recent Carolina Women’s Leadership Council meeting.

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