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GAA Honors Three for Outstanding Service

The recipients of the GAA’s 2017 Distinguished Service Medals are Michael Kennedy ’79, Sallie Krawcheck ’87 and Stephen Farmer. (Photo by Ray Black III)

The recipients of the GAA’s 2017 Distinguished Service Medals are Michael Kennedy ’79, left, Sallie Krawcheck ’87 and Stephen Farmer. (Photo by Ray Black III)

The General Alumni Association on Saturday honored UNC’s undergraduate admissions director and two alumni who have drawn on their business experience to support the University and the association.

Recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Service Medals are Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions; Michael Kennedy ’79, senior client partner with Korn Ferry International, an executive search and development firm; and Sallie Krawcheck ’87, CEO and co-founder of the investment firm Ellevest.

The medals were presented at the GAA’s Annual Alumni Luncheon during spring reunion weekend. The association has awarded the medals since 1978 to alumni and others who have provided outstanding service to the association or the University.

Stephen Farmer

Stephen Farmer (Photo by Ray Black III)

Farmer, of Carrboro, came to UNC in 2000 as senior associate director of admissions and was promoted to vice provost in 2004. For more than a decade, Carolina has seen annual increases in the number of applications and has admitted more students who are the first in their families to go to college, more international students and more students of color.

Farmer has founded two nationally recognized programs: Carolina College Advising Corps, which sends UNC alumni into underserved high schools to guide eligible students through the college admissions and financial aid process; and the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, which smooths the path for community college students to transfer to Carolina. He also was a key player in launching Thrive@Carolina, which aims to boost graduation rates by coordinating student support services. In 2010, Farmer received UNC’s C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award.

Michael Kennedy ’79

Michael Kennedy ’79 (Photo by Ray Black III)

Kennedy, of Atlanta — who also sits on the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board and had a previous career in investment and banking — has consulted with the University on high-profile hiring. He also has held leadership roles in some of the University’s major fundraising efforts, including the Bicentennial and the Carolina First campaigns, as he will in the campaign launching this fall.

While expanding minority giving to the University, as a member of the National Steering Committee of the Carolina First Campaign, Kennedy established and chaired the Minority Alumni Committee that increased diversity on University advisory boards. The Carolina American Indian Center came out of the committee, and Kennedy has since organized the Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, which he co-chairs. He received the Harvey Beech Outstanding Alumni Award in 2009, given by the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion, and the William Richardson Davie Award in 2014 from UNC’s Board of Trustees.

Sallie Krawcheck ’87

Sallie Krawcheck ’87 (Photo by Ray Black III)

Krawcheck, of New York, who attended UNC as a Morehead Scholar, held top posts at such financial firms as Smith Barney, Citi and Merrill Lynch before launching Ellevate, a global professional women’s network, and Ellevest, which focuses on investing for women. She recently published a book, Own It, on career management for women.

Krawcheck has served on the UNC Board of Visitors, the UNC Foundation Investment Board and the Global Leadership Council and joined committees focused on investments, global leadership and development. A member of the Morehead-Cain Central Selection Committee periodically since 2001, she has been the keynote speaker at the foundation’s finalists banquet and at its alumni forum. Krawcheck addresses on-campus events such as the Carolina Women’s Leadership Conference and hosts Carolina alumni events at her home. In 2003, she received the GAA’s Distinguished Young Alumna Award and, in 2014, the William Richardson Davie Award from UNC’s Board of Trustees.

List of past Distinguished Service Medal recipients.
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