Alumna Noted for Innovation to Speak at University Day

Heather Munroe-Blum.

Heather Munroe-Blum

Carolina will remember the University’s past and celebrate its future during the 217th annual University Day Oct. 12.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Heather Munroe-Blum ’83 (PhD), the 16th principal and vice chancellor of McGill University in Montreal. She is responsible for daily operations and works with the campus community to fulfill McGill’s mission — the advancement of learning through teaching, scholarship and service to society.

Munroe-Blum earned her doctorate with distinction in epidemiology from Carolina and is a recipient of the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s outstanding alumni award. She also was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree at Carolina’s Commencement in 2008.

Munroe-Blum has dedicated her career to the advancement of higher education, science and innovation in Canada and internationally, advising governments and other organizations on the role that universities, research and highly qualified talent play in advancing international competitiveness and enriching societies.

Her main objectives at McGill include a commitment to strengthen the university’s leadership at the world level with respect to research, graduate education, student experience and positive societal contribution. Hallmarks of her leadership have been advancement of governance, promotion of strategic areas of excellence and impact in research and scholarship, and enrichment of the student experience.

A member of McGill’s faculty of medicine and professor in the epidemiology and biostatistics department, Munroe-Blum specializes in psychiatric epidemiology. She has led large-scale epidemiological investigations of the distribution, prevention, course and treatment of major psychiatric disorders and has been a major influence in the development of mental health policies and practices.

She serves on the Internationalization Committee of the Association of American Universities and chairs the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s Standing Advisory Committee on University Research. She is a member of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council, the U.S. National Research Council’s Committee on Research Universities, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Trilateral Commission.

Since 1971, the faculty has presented the Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards on University Day to recognize those Tar Heels who have made outstanding contributions to humanity.

This year’s recipients will be:

  • Jameson.


    Dr. J. Larry Jameson III ’76 (’81 MD, ’81 PhD), dean of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and one of the nation’s distinguished specialists in internal medicine and endocrinology. Jameson is noted for his research, which has resulted in a greater understanding of genetic causes of hormonal disorders. He also is known for being an efficient professor where he trained more than 50 doctoral students and a dozen or so graduate students. His undergraduate degree was in chemistry; he earned his medical degree from UNC simultaneously with his doctorate in biochemistry.

  • Jones.


    Harry Louis Jones Sr. ’72 (’74 MPA), county manager of Mecklenburg, the state’s largest metropolitan area,. Jones directs an annual budget of nearly $1.4 billion and oversees services delivered by 4,800 employees to 900,000 residents. Jones is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a nonpartisan organization created by Congress to assist federal, state and local governments. He is a former member of the UNC Board of Visitors and is a 2009 recipient of the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award, given annually at the Black Alumni Reunion.

  • Martin.


    Harry Martin ’42, one of the state’s most recognized and long-serving jurists. Martin graduating from Carolina with a degree in political science, Martin served in World War II in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific. After the war, he earned a law degree from Harvard University and then moved to Asheville. He served as a Superior Court judge and on the N.C. Court of Appeals before becoming a N.C. Supreme Court justice in 1982. He was elected to the N.C. Supreme Court three times, serving until 1992. Since 2000, Martin has served as a chief justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court in North Carolina.

  • Mason.


    Alane Mason ’86, vice president and senior editor at W.W. Norton & Co. Mason founded and now presides over Words Without Borders, an organization that translates written pieces into English on a global scale. Words Without Borders translated more than 1,100 pieces from more than 110 countries since 2003. Mason received her undergraduate degree in creative writing with highest honors in English.

  • Shaffer.


    Charles Shaffer Jr. ’64 (’67 JD), vice president for institutional advancement at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta. Shaffer was a Morehead Scholar at UNC, majoring in history, and played on Coach Dean Smith’s first Carolina basketball team. After law school and a legal career as a litigator, notably with King & Spalding in Atlanta, Shaffer co-chaired the Carolina First Campaign, which raised $2.38 billion to become the most successful fundraising effort in UNC history. He was a member of the Atlanta Nine, which presented the city as the host for the 1996 summer Olympics to the International Olympic Committee. Shaffer carried the torch at a location of his choice — the Old Well.

In keeping with a long tradition of celebrating campus milestones on University Day, Carolina will also dedicate Venable Hall, which will open this fall in the second phase of the Carolina Physical Science Complex, the largest construction project in the University’s history. That ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Venable Hall, located next to the first phase of the complex, which includes the Max C. Chapman Jr. Hall, the W. Lowry and Susan S. Caudill Laboratories and Fred Brooks Hall in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The original Venable Hall, home to the chemistry department since 1925, was demolished in late 2007 and early 2008. The new Venable will house the William R. Kenan Jr. Chemistry Library along with department of chemistry classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms and the department of marine sciences. Francis P. Venable was a chemistry professor from 1880 to 1930 and president of the University from 1900 to 1914. The original Venable Hall was dedicated on University Day in 1925.

More online…

Share via: