Several decades of Carolina alumni were brought together for the 14th annual William R. Davie Dinner, hosted by the Charlotte Carolina Club. The formal evening celebrates the life and legacy of Davie, considered the father of the University, while raising money for scholarships.
The club’s signature event Nov. 7 drew 249 alumni to Myers Park Country Club for dining, mingling and hearing this year’s speaker, Chuck Lovelace ’77, head of the Morehead-Cain Foundation. Lovelace, who also earned his MBA from UNC in 1979, talked about last year’s $100 million gift and how it has enhanced the foundation, leading it to be renamed the Morehead-Cain Foundation.
Eric Locher ’78, co-chair of the Davie Dinner, said the event is a good way for alumni to hear an interesting speaker associated with the University and to keep them aware of the latest developments in Chapel Hill and with the alumni association.
“For many people, it’s their primary reconnection with the University,” said Locher, who also earned his MBA from Carolina in 1982. “Chuck Lovelace was actually my RA when I was at school. A Morehead scholar himself, he did a tremendous job of speaking of the new Morehead-Cain relationship and also how the Morehead Foundation has fit into the University, both in Chapel Hill as well as the alumni association.”
Locher noted the Davie Dinner was started in Charlotte because Davie had a home there. “But as the founder of the University, he needs to be celebrated by the whole University community, and we would love to see Davie Dinners started in other clubs throughout the UNC alumni system. It’s a great gathering spot, and it can be a first touch for alumni when they move into a new city.”
Along with an emphasis on the Morehead-Cain Foundation, this year’s dinner made a special effort to draw young alumni. Those from the classes of 1997 to 2007 could purchase tickets for $30, compared with $40 for other Carolina Alumni members and $60 for other attendees.
“We had 51 young alumni registered to attend,” said Bill Warren ’99, club leader. “That was four times what we’ve had in the past.”
Eva Dawkins ’06 attended the Davie Dinner as her first Carolina Club event. “I don’t have a lot of time on my hands, but now I’m sure I’ll go to some more,” she said.
Patty Frizzell Brooks ’50 enjoyed how the event united alumni of many generations.
“They had all the [alumni] stand up after the dinner, and then they kept making them sit down if you graduated in the ’80s, if you graduated in the ’70s, and so on and so on. I think I was third left standing, since I graduated in 1950,” she said with a laugh.
Warren said that’s one of the goals of the event. “It’s a great place for people of all ages and all generations who attended to go mingle and talk about their experiences and sit down for a nice dinner,” he said.
In addition to alumni, the event serves current UNC students. Proceeds benefit the Charlotte Carolina Club Scholarship Fund, with an award of $1,000 each given to several students from Charlotte.
“We work with the GAA and the office of financial aid, and they select students each year from the Charlotte area that are deserving of the scholarship,” Warren said. “We have given 29 scholarships for $29,500 over the history of the event.”
The past four years of the event have been the most successful, allowing the club to give more than $5,000 each year. “This year we’re expecting to be able to give another $5,000 or $6,000,” Warren said.
The money is raised through the event’s hosts and sponsors. This year, 49 individuals hosted and sponsored the dinner, raising more than $10,000 for the scholarships.