The General Alumni Association of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was formed in May 1843 by volunteers and is now known as Carolina Alumni, with more than 40 full-time staff serving more than 361,000 alumni.
Carolina Alumni calls the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on Stadium Drive home, a home also open to all alumni and friends. It maintains detailed records on alumni and sponsors class and affinity group reunions, the largest being the Black Alumni Reunion, and Homecoming. Carolina Clubs provide gatherings for alumni wherever in the world they call home.
Since the late 19th century, Carolina Alumni has invited alumni to become dues-paying members. Members enjoy fun perks and useful services. Similar to alumni associations at the universities of Michigan, California, Virginia and others, Carolina Alumni is self-governed, and members elect the Board of Directors.
Since 1996, Carolina Alumni has been recognized with 133 national or district awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Of those:
- 71 went to Alumni Communications, including for the Carolina Alumni Review;
- 60 went to Alumni Programs, including 27 awards from CASE’s Affiliated Student Advancement Programs; these awards recognize the association’s programming related to career services, travel, lifelong learning, reunions, Carolina Clubs, athletics, admissions, Family Camp, legislative advocacy, and programs and events for young alumni, current students and their families;
- Two awards, both awarded in 2019, went to Membership for technological advances involving the Carolina Alumni app and the online balloting in Board of Directors elections.
Carolina Alumni members have access to the online alumni directory. Not only can members easily locate classmates and friends, they also are able to search based on class year, geographical location and occupational codes — making the online directory particularly useful for professional networking among alumni.
The alumni travel program remains exclusively for Carolina Alumni member along with Camp Blue Heaven, an annual family camp weekend in the N.C. mountains. Membership in The Carolina Club, the on-campus dining club in the alumni center for alumni, faculty, staff and friends of Carolina, is limited to Carolina Alumni members.
Since 1983, Tar Heel Network has worked to preserve the value of all Carolina diplomas through legislative advocacy. Carolina Alumni provides scholarships for enrolled undergraduates and also sponsors the Clef Hangers and Loreleis, Homecoming Committee, Senior Class, Student Alumni Association and Order of the Bell Tower.