The University trustees and Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz have presented the board’s highest honor to three alumni. Kel Landis III ’79, James Arthur “Art” Pope ’78 and Teresa Holland Williams ’77 are this year’s recipients of the William Richardson Davie Award, which recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.
Landis was a trustee from 2012 to 2013, chair of the UNC Board of Visitors and a member of the UNC Foundation’s board of directors. He earned his MBA from Carolina in 1982 and has been an adjunct professor of finance at Kenan-Flagler Business School, has chaired the school’s board of advisers and has been a trustee for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise. A former CEO of RBC Centura Bank, Landis was senior adviser for business and economic affairs for former Gov. Mike Easley ’72. Landis’ philanthropic support of the University spans the campus, including Kenan-Flagler, student financial aid and research initiatives in the medical school. His contributions to public higher education in the state extend beyond Carolina: He is a trustee of Elizabeth City State University and a board member for the N.C. Community Foundation, which supports community foundations across the state; and he currently is on the board of advisers for the Medical Foundation of North Carolina.
Pope was special counsel to former Gov. Jim Martin, was state budget director and was elected to four terms to the N.C. House of Representatives. He is chair of the John William Pope Foundation, which has given more than $170 million to support public policy, education, the arts and humanitarian nonprofit efforts. In 2018, the foundation committed $10 million to UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; UNC’s Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program; men’s and women’s track and field scholarships; and a research study at UNC Horizons designed to help more women and children break the cycle of addiction and poverty. Pope chairs the boards of directors for the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
Williams has chaired the GAA’s Board of Directors and the board of trustees of Western Carolina University. She also has been on the board of education of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and on the chancellor’s advisory committee for UNC’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. She received the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2018 and is a founding member of the GAA’s Light on the Hill Society, which funds scholarships to support academically gifted African American students attending Carolina; she also is on Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s board of visitors. She has received Western Carolina University’s Distinguished Service Award, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’ Volunteer of the Year Award and the Chapel Hill Service League Lifetime Membership Award. She promotes public higher education across the state as a board member for Higher Education Works, a bipartisan organization that advocates for investment in North Carolina’s public universities and community colleges by building support among citizens and engaging leaders.
Established by the trustees in 1984, the Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who introduced and won passage of a 1789 bill in the N.C. General Assembly to charter the University.