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Gov. Roy Cooper to deliver keynote address at University Day celebration

11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12

Memorial Hall, 114 E. Cameron Ave.


(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Oct. 9, 2017) – Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s 75th Governor, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s University Day on Oct. 12. The celebration is in honor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 224th birthday and will be held at 11 a.m. in Memorial Hall.


University Day marks the 1793 laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building, and the beginning of public higher education in the United States. More information on the history of University Day can be found here.


Chancellor Carol L. Folt will also honor the founders and generations of graduates who took the University’s mission of service to the world, discuss aspirations for Carolina’s future and recognize the service of alumni and faculty who continue the advancement of work for the betterment of the people of North Carolina.


Keynote speaker: Governor Roy Cooper. The son of a school teacher, Cooper knows that education creates opportunity and he has worked throughout his career to strengthen our schools and create a sound foundation for our state’s children. In the N.C. House and Senate, Cooper fought to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes. He wrote North Carolina’s first children’s health insurance initiative. During his service in the legislature, Cooper worked with members of both parties to get balanced budgets that raised teacher pay to the national average, grow the economy and cut taxes for middle class families. Cooper entered public service to fight for communities like the one where he grew up. Born and raised in Nash County, he attended public schools and worked summers on the family farm before attending UNC-Chapel Hill on a Morehead Scholarship. After earning a law degree from UNC, Cooper returned home to Nash County to practice law and, with his wife Kristin, raise three daughters – Hilary, Natalie, and Claire.  He taught Sunday School, served as an elder and deacon in his church, and tutored students in local schools. More information on Cooper can be found here.


Awards: Five people will receive Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards:

  • Amy Lansky, Senior Advisor for Strategy in the Program Performance and Evaluation Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Berrien Moore III, who once served as the Chair of the Space and Earth Science Advisory Committee for NASA
  • Judith Phillips Stanton, who compiled and edited The Collected Letters of Charlotte Smith (2004) and also taught at The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and Clemson University
  • Mike Wiley, whose plays have been seen in settings ranging from The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., to the official finale of the Freedom Riders 50th Reunion in Jackson, Mississippi
  • Richard Stevens, an attorney with the Smith Anderson Law Firm in Raleigh and member of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees, serving for the second time.


Additionally, the Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award, established by the Faculty Council in 2011 to recognize outstanding service by faculty members, will be presented to Nancy Allbritton, the Kenan Professor and Chair of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.


Processional: At 10:30 a.m., faculty members, carrying gonfalon-style banners to identify each school and the College of Arts and Sciences, will process from the Old Well to Memorial Hall. The processional will be organized by the date of the establishment of the school. University staff members also participate in the processional.


Media Check In: Media representatives should check in at Memorial Hall no earlier than 10 a.m. Reserved media seating will be available. Broadcasters can expect a mult box for podium audio feeds. On-site contact: Jeni Cook (Cell: 404-309-3994).


Media Parking: A limited number of spaces will be available for media representatives in lots near Memorial Hall. Contact the Media Relations Team by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to reserve parking –


University Day 2017 website:




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.


University Communications contact: Jeni Cook, (919) 445-8555,


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