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Charlie Shaffer '35 Raised Carolina Up

Tar Heel born and bred, Charles Milton Shaffer ’35 devoted much of his life to helping the University grow. Carolina’s first director of development – essentially a one-man fund-raising office for many years – died in Winston-Salem on July 12. He was 90.

Shaffer was born in Greensboro on Dec. 14, 1913. While a student at Carolina, he was a varsity football player – an All-Southern selection in 1934 – and a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. It was there he met his wife, Charlotte Blanton Winborne ’34. They were married for 64 years.

The Shaffers were the third of five generations to graduate from UNC.

After graduation, Shaffer worked as a textile executive for Burlington Mills. He returned to Chapel Hill in 1952, when he was appointed as the first director of development, a position he held for 29 years. He presided over the University’s first comprehensive capital campaign, the Carolina Challenge, from 1977 to 1980.

As director, Shaffer located critical sources of financial support and encouraged alumni to donate to the University. Charlotte Shaffer helped by hosting events in their home. Later, the Shaffers made a personal donation to benefit the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library.

“One cannot measure the worth of his work,” UNC Trustees Chair George Ragsdale ’58 said of Shaffer at the time of his selection as one of the first two William R. Davie Award recipients in 1984. “It was not merely the amount of money he raised, the buildings he helped build or the programs he helped fund. Like Frank Graham, Billy Carmichael, Bill Friday and one or two others in this century, Charlie Shaffer, by the great personal qualities exhibited in his daily life, was able to draw men and women to the University because of what he was as well as what he did.”

Shaffer was elected the first president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, where he encouraged interaction between the University and the community. He also served on the boards of campus and statewide organizations, including the UNC Educational Foundation and the N.C. Episcopal Church Foundation.

Voted Chapel Hill’s Citizen of the Year in 1966, he served on the board of Home Savings and Loan Association, Carol Woods Retirement Association, Saint Mary’s School, Penick Village in Southern Pines, and the UNC Medical Foundation. He was a charter member of the board of visitors of the Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in Hendersonville.

In 1982, the Shaffers were joint recipients of the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal for service to the University and to the GAA. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the UNC School of Medicine and the Medical Alumni Association.

Surviving are his wife; a son, Charles M. Shaffer Jr. ’64, and wife, Harriet Houston Shaffer, of Atlanta; a daughter, Winborne Shaffer Chandler ’67 and husband, Dudley Carlyle Chandler Jr. ’65, of Winston-Salem; five grandchildren, Charles Milton Shaffer III, Caroline Shaffer Vroon ’91, Emi Shaffer Gragnani, Dudley Carlyle Chandler III ’94 and Charlotte Chandler Broughton; and nine great-grandchildren, David Charles Vroon, Dylan Robert Vroon, Daniel Shaffer Vroon, Charles Milton Shaffer IV, Ada Ayers Shaffer, Andrew Houston Shaffer, Margaret Wilder Chandler, Charlotte Winborne Broughton and Eleanor Popham Broughton.

The family requests that, in lieu of gifts and flowers, memorials be made to the Charles M. and Charlotte W. Shaffer Scholarship Fund, the Justice John Wallace Winborne Library Fund or to another part of the Carolina First capital campaign.


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