C. Felix Harvey III ’43, chairman of Harvey Enterprises & Affiliates and founder of the Little Bank Inc., of Kinston, and his family are making a $2 million gift to UNC to support and advance a broad spectrum of University priorities. The gift, acknowledging the University’s significance to the Harvey family and the role Carolina has played in the lives of five generations of the family, will create an endowment to fund the C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities.
“I am extremely fortunate to be able to express my gratitude in this meaningful and lasting way,” Harvey said. “Personally, UNC expanded my horizons at a very influential time. By broadening my perspective, Carolina taught me that there are many possibilities and opportunities in life. It is our collective hope that this gift will do the same for future generations of students.”
Unlike most scholarly awards at Carolina, the Harvey Award is not directed to a specific area but will support a variety of institutional initiatives, among them undergraduate education, community engagement, research and economic development in the areas of medicine, business, science, the humanities, law and the environment.
Harvey Award recipients will be chosen by a five-member selection committee — including two Harvey family members — that will evaluate project proposals submitted by members of the campus community. Initial proposals will be sought in spring 2009 with the first award, or awards, given that fall. Award funds can be distributed to one or more selected projects, although the committee is not bound to make an award if no proposals meet the selection criteria.
“As he did during his student days, Felix has brought his pioneering spirit to Carolina in establishing the Harvey Award,” Chancellor James Moeser said. “Throughout his life, he has steadfastly pursued opportunities and built a framework for success that inspires and encourages each of us to reach higher. We are grateful to Felix and the Harvey family for the tremendous opportunities this endowment makes possible.”
The gift counts toward the Carolina First Campaign, the private fundraising campaign that began on July 1, 1999, and ends on Dec. 31. It has raised more than $2.2 billion as of August.
Members from five generations of Harveys have earned UNC degrees, including Felix and Margaret Harvey’s daughters Leigh Harvey McNairy ’70 and Sunny Harvey Burrows ’84, sons-in-law John McNairy ’71 and Lee Burrows ’82, and several grandchildren. Felix Harvey graduated with a degree in commerce. He joined the Navy midshipman school and then served on a PT boat in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.
Harvey began working at age 13 following his father’s death at 38. Harvey worked through college and returned to the family business after the war. In 1950, at 29, Harvey became president and CEO of the business upon the death of his uncle, Leo H. Harvey ’20 and steadily expanded its endeavors.
Harvey also is a community advocate and received the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal in 1995. He is a lifetime member and supporter of the Salvation Army and served on the Kinston’s school board for 10 years, two as chairman. He founded and headed the Kinston Industrial Development Corp. and helped form the N.C. Global TransPark, the effort to create an air-cargo manufacturing park to help boost eastern North Carolina’s economy. Harvey has chaired the N.C. Chamber of Commerce (then known as N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry) and has received numerous achievement and citizenship awards for his efforts, including induction into the N.C. Business Hall of Fame in 2001. Harvey has served on the boards of directors of five companies on the New York Stock Exchange.
Harvey’s service to UNC includes as a trustee, a member of the Bicentennial Campaign Steering Committee and as president of the Educational Foundation and the UNC Business Foundation. He also helped raise private funding for the construction of Carroll Hall.
Harvey Enterprises & Affiliates is a privately held, family-owned conglomerate with interests in farming and agricultural production supplies, real estate, financial institutions and insurance. Harvey Enterprises is the oldest company on the North Carolina 100 ranking of private companies and one of the state’s largest continuously operating family businesses. It also ranked 37th in revenue in the October 2006 listing of companies in Business North Carolina magazine.