Fall in Chapel Hill is always a period of anticipation. We are refreshed by the arrival of bright, enthusiastic, new and returning students. Carolina students bring energy, curiosity and an inspiring commitment to service that parallels their remarkable, hard-earned academic credentials. The GAA invests some of your dues in recruiting students at admitted student receptions and by welcoming entering students at local Carolina Club- and Parents Council-sponsored student send-offs as well as at the GAA’s annual open house, Carolina’s New Student Convocation and Fall Fest. The Order of the Bell Tower’s Freshman Focus has become a “must have” for new students wanting to connect quickly with all the new student faces.
All who return to our campus after some time away will marvel at (and occasionally be confused or inconvenienced by) all the new construction. Close to the Alumni Center, the Ramshead Center will be completed early next year. With its new student dining hall, expansive recreation center and a quad of grass and trees atop a 700-space parking garage, the Ramshead Center is envisioned to become for South Campus what the Pit is for North Campus. On the other side of Kenan Stadium stands the long-awaited and just-opened Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Across South Road and adjacent to Wilson Library, the first phase of a $250 million science complex is coming out of the ground, while farther north, on Cameron Avenue, the renovation and expansion of Memorial Hall continues.
Fall in Chapel Hill also brings the anticipation of new seasons for our women’s and men’s soccer teams, our field hockey and other Olympic sports teams, and especially our Tar Heel football team. This year, the GAA is hosting pregame events prior to Carolina’s contests at Utah, Wake Forest and Duke.
Happily for Chancellor James Moeser and his administrative colleagues, after several lean years that included budget cuts, the N.C General Assembly provided funds for the first permanent faculty and staff salary increases in three years, generous funding for the endowed professorship fund and $180 million for a long-overdue and much-needed clinical cancer hospital. Success in advocating for Carolina’s legislative agenda has been aided by the GAA’s Tar Heel Network as well as a relatively new but significant political action committee — Citizens of Higher Education. (For more information about Citizens for Higher Education, send correspondence to 10709 Brass Kettle Road, Raleigh, NC 27614.)
In November, North Carolina voters will determine whether the N .C House is again likely to have co-speakers, whether the Democrats will continue to control the state Senate, and whether Gov. Mike Easley ’72 or Patrick Ballantine ’87 will serve as North Carolina’s next governor. Also, the General Assembly’s Joint Study Commission on the Board of Governors continues its review of the size, selection process and length and number of terms for UNC System BOG members. In addition, the N.C Center for Public Policy Research is preparing its report on “The UNC System Board of Governors: Selection, Powers, and the Board’s Relationship to the 16 Campus Boards of Trustees.”
On campus, searches continue for new deans of the schools of dentistry, public health, and journalism and mass communications. Within the UNC System, a search continues for a new chancellor for N.C State while a search is beginning for a new chancellor at UNC-Charlotte. And Richard Brodhead is beginning his tenure as the new president of Duke University.
Important decisions and choices are being made that will shape the future of North Carolina higher education and our campus. It is our hope that you are as excited as we are about the launch of a new academic year at Carolina. We hope you’ll return to the campus often (Alumni Weekend/ Homecoming is Oct. 29-30), and when you’re unable to return, we hope you’ll continue to visit the GAA at alumni.unc.edu, where you’ll be reminded of the many ways you can connect and reconnect to Carolina and to your classmates.
As always, we thank you for continuing to support the GAA with your membership. Approximately 90 percent of the financial support provided to Carolina by UNC alumni comes from GAA members. By staying informed and involved, you are affirming your understanding that Carolina alumni remain UNC’s only permanent constituency. Supporting Carolina by remaining a GAA member is “just what you do.”
Yours at Carolina,
Douglas S. Dibbert ’70