Kenan Trust Gives Law School $1 Million to Honor Friday

The trustees of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust announced a gift of $1 million to the UNC School of Law in memory of William C. Friday ’48 (LLB), who died Oct. 12. The trustees designated the gift for support of student scholarships.

Friday attended the school after serving as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve from 1942 until 1946 in World War II. While a student, Friday was president of the Law School Association. He graduated in 1948.

Considered an icon of American public higher education, Friday served as president of the consolidated university for 30 years. During his tenure, he oversaw the racial desegregation of the University and its expansion to include all 16 of North Carolina’s public universities. After retiring in 1986, Friday served as the Kenan Charitable Trust’s first executive director.

“Mr. Friday was a giant not only in the field of higher education, but also in the field of philanthropy,” said Richard M. Krasno, executive director of the trust. “His compassion and thoughtful approach to grant making is evident throughout North Carolina and across the U.S. We will miss him deeply.”

The law school will use the funds to establish a named, endowed scholarship in memory of Friday.

“This generous gift is an especially appropriate tribute to Bill Friday, who devoted his 60-year career to maintaining broad student access to the state university system because of his abiding belief in the transformative power of public education,” said Jack Boger ’74 (JD), dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of law.

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