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Themed “Service to Our State,” this year’s event features a panel discussion, awards and food trucks.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz leads a line of faculty members as they march in the University Day processional outside.
(photo by Jon Gardiner)

UNC-Chapel Hill turns 230 this year, and the Carolina community will celebrate the occasion at the University Day ceremony Oct. 12. The annual event marks the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the oldest public university building in the nation.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. in Memorial Hall. Classes will be canceled between 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to give students and employees the opportunity to attend. The first 100 students in attendance will receive a $10 voucher after the ceremony to use at food trucks stationed near the Pit.

“University Day is an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate our founding and recommit to our mission of teaching, research and service,” said Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. “It is an opportunity to remember our storied past and dream together about our future. Our theme this year is ‘Service to Our State’ because throughout our 230-year history, the taxpayers of North Carolina have invested in higher education. It is this dedication from people from the mountains to the coast that makes Carolina’s excellence possible.”

Guskiewicz will preside over the ceremony. The program will also include a panel discussion featuring three alumni who have dedicated their careers to public service. Student Body President Chris Everett will moderate the discussions. Panelists include:

Elizabeth Biser, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and president of the Environmental Council of States.

Pablo Friedmann, director of the Durham Public Schools Multilingual Resource Center.

Alex Lassiter, founder and CEO of GreenPlaces, an organization working to support sustainable practices and environmental stewardship in the business community.

During the ceremony, Tar Heels who have made outstanding contributions to humanity are recognized with Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards. This year’s recipients are James W. Clark Jr. ’65, Thomas F. Darden ’76 ’92, Amy L. Greeson ’90, Jenny Han ’02 and Adolph L. Reed Jr. ’71.

Dr. David J. Weber and Robin Lee also will be honored during the ceremony.

Weber, the Charles Addison and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics Professor of Epidemiology and the associate chief medical officer at UNC Health, is this year’s recipient of the Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award, which recognizes the outstanding service of a voting faculty member.

Lee, a housekeeper in Facilities Services, is the recipient of the Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage, which is awarded to an employee who demonstrates a strong commitment to social justice, especially with regard to the treatment of fellow workers.

Read more about the ceremony at the University Day website.

By Ethan Quinn, University Communications

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