2007 Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award
Terrence V. Burroughs ’82
While his fellow students were watching a soap opera or taking a nap, Terrence Van Loren Burroughs ’82 was in the library. “He was very social, but he always got his work done first,” remembers classmate Debra P. Clayton ’82. “He was at all the parties, but he was always very focused on making sure his work was done.” Both his diligence and his sociability remain much in evidence today. Now president of the health care services firm Burroughs Management Group, president of the National Pharmaceutical Association Foundation, and an active member of several boards — including, until his term ended recently, the UNC Board of Visitors — Terrence continues to makes time for others.
“One of the best things you can do for students is sit with them and talk with them,” says the Hon. Regina Newell Stephens ’84 of Burroughs’ regular participation in Black Alumni Reunion student partnership sessions. “Terrence does it. He talks, he interacts. He’s a great role model and he doesn’t hesitate to be a great role model.”
Nor does his active participation in BAR events and efforts end there. He attends all the reunions and supports all the programs, and is a staunch supporter of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. A member of the junior varsity basketball team as an undergraduate, Terrence continues to be an avid supporter of Tar Heel athletics. “You know when Terrence has entered the room,” Regina Stephens says. “He’s friendly, he speaks to people and he makes connections between people.” With his wife, Terri Brown Burroughs ’83, he endowed a scholarship in the UNC School of Pharmacy — the first endowed by African-Americans — and he is also a founding member and a member of the board of directors for the Light on the Hill Society Scholarship. “I had such a great experience attending the National Pharmaceutical Association,” Terrence explains. “My intent was to be sure students never had a problem attending the annual meeting. Light on the Hill is important for the same reason. A lot of students are very smart but lack the financial means to go to college. You’d be surprised what difference $1,000 or $2,500 can make — it can make the difference between going and not going.”
His service doesn’t stop there. Each year at Christmas, the Burroughs quietly adopt a local family and provide money to let them catch up on bills, buy gifts and have a Christmas dinner. “If a couple of us get together and have a birthday celebration,” Regina Stephens says, “he and his wife will say, in lieu of gifts, would you mind just buying a Wal-Mart card? They’ll give that to the family.”
Though “Type A” comes to mind when friends describe Terrence — he’s very driven toward perfection, they say — he is also dedicated to enjoying life. Passionate about tennis, travel and bid whist, he brings the same devotion to those pursuits as he does to his profession and his community service. Whatever the venue, says one friend, “He’s willing to put in whatever work is necessary to make sure he’s a winner.”