A Year of Transitions

Carolina alumni and friends should remain proud of Carolina’s achievements, resolute about our challenges, saddened by the passing of those who served us so well and inspired by the legacy of Carolina’s first 229 years.

Among the many whose 2022 passing we mourned were:

  • GAA Faculty Service Award recipients Judith Wegner, Jo Anne Earp, and Fred Brooks;
  • Former GAA Board chairs Ferg Norton ’61 and Betty Ray McCain ’52;
  • Professors Townsend Ludington, John Pringle, Kenneth Reckford, Stafford Wing, William Peck and Royce Murray;
  • Leading cardiothoracic surgeon and former UNC football player Joseph Craver ’63 (’67 MD);
  • Former owner of Cats Cradle and founder of Dead Mule Club David Robert ’71;
  • Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award recipients Louise Fletcher ’57, Eli Evans ’58 and Walter Dellinger ’63;
  • Robertson Scholars Program benefactor Julian Robertson Jr. ’55;
  • Philanthropists Charles Loudermilk Sr. ’50 and Van Weatherspoon ’54;
  • Davie Award recipient Frank Daniels Jr. ’53;
  • All-American basketball player Lennie Rosenbluth ’57;
  • Former UNC track star, vice chancellor and president of the University of South Alabama Tony Waldrop ’74 (’80 MA ’82 PhD);
  • UNC men’s basketball MVP Ademola Okulaja ’99; and
  • Martha Vena Flowers, the first Black faculty member in the music department.

Senior officials who stepped down are Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research; David Routh ’82, vice chancellor for development; Doug Shackelford ’80, dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School; Mike Smith, dean of the School of Government; and Suzanne Barbour, dean of the Graduate School. A search was launched for my successor.

Astrophysicist Chris Clemens became provost, Kamrhan Farwell  vice chancellor for communications, and Michael Andreasen vice chancellor for development. Jason McGrath became associate provost and director of undergraduate admissions while Rachelle Feldman became associate provost for enrollment. Christi Hurt ’93 became chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz’s chief of staff, and Amy Hertel ’97 became executive vice provost. New deans are Jim White (College of Arts and Sciences), Janet Guthmiller (Adams School of Dentistry), Nancy Messonnier (Gillings School of Global Public Health), Raul Reis (Hussman School of Journalism and Media), Valerie Howard (School of Nursing), Beth Mayer-Davis (Graduate School), and Stanley Ahalt (School of Data Science and Society).

The Campaign for Carolina concluded, with $798 million raised in 2021–22. By mid-November, donations and pledges totaled $5,015,019,705 — 118 percent of the goal with 99 percent of time elapsed. Throughout the campaign’s eight-plus years, gifts have come from 218,070 donors. Of the dollars that came from alumni, 85 percent came from Carolina Alumni members, again affirming that informed and involved alumni are also most likely to invest in Carolina.

Undergraduate admissions applications increased to 57,219 — up 6 percent from last year. Carolina welcomed 5,340 new undergraduates, including 4,440 first-year students.

The Carolina Coffee Shop celebrated its 100th anniversary, and the Tar Heels prompted the storming of Franklin Street twice with historic victories in Durham and New Orleans.

Men’s basketball set records with the 21st Final 4 and 131 NCAA tournament wins. Eighteen teams scored a perfect 1,000 in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rates, and for the fourth consecutive year set the record for highest graduation success rates. 421 student-athletes were on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Three teams — field hockey, women’s lacrosse and baseball — were ACC champions. Eight teams finished in the top 10 in NCAA postseason play. Chris Gray (men’s lacrosse), Sam Howell (football) and Jamie Ortega (women’s lacrosse) won Patterson Medals. Hall of Fame coach Jenny Levy led women’s lacrosse to an undefeated season and its third NCAA championship. In her 42nd year as UNC’s field hockey coach, Karen Shelton also led her team to an undefeated season and a record 10th NCAA championship. Field hockey’s Erin Matson ’22 became the ACC’s career points leader. Women’s tennis player Fiona Crawley became the first woman since 2016 to win both ITA fall majors in the same season. Carolina’s 28-sport athletics program finished sixth in the Directors’ Cup.

The Student Affairs building was named for Henry Owl ’29 (MA), Carolina’s first American Indian student; and a residence hall was named for Hortense McClinton, Carolina’s first Black professor. The state’s cancer hospital is now called the North Carolina Basnight Cancer Hospital in honor of Marc Basnight, the longest-serving Senate president pro tempore. The UNC National Pan-Hellenic Legacy Plaza was unveiled to celebrate historically African American fraternities and sororities at Carolina.

Journalist and author Frank Bruni ’86 was the May commencement speaker as new graduates were joined in Kenan Stadium by the 50th reunion classes of 1970 (delayed by COVID) and 1972. New research awards again reached an all-time record: $1.2 billion.

Carolina remains among the top universities in the latest rankings: U.S. News & World Report listed Carolina 5th among public universities for the 22nd consecutive year and the best value among public universities for the 18th time. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education 2022 College Rankings named Carolina the No. 1 public college in the South, 3rd among all U.S. public universities and 33rd among both public and private universities. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked Carolina the No. 1 best value in U.S. public higher education for the 18th time.

If Carolina’s first 229 years are a prelude, we can anticipate the year ahead will again bring achievements, occasions for celebration as well as sadness and disappointment, and most especially challenges — many of which remain yet unknown.

Yours at Carolina,

Doug signature





Douglas S. Dibbert ’70

Share via: