Six alumni have been recognized as this year’s recipients of the annual William Richardson Davie Award, the UNC Board of Trustees’ highest honor for service to the University or society.
They are N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper ’79 (’82 JD) of Raleigh; Robyn Shernita Hadley ’85, vice president and chief student affairs officer at the University of Virginia, of Charlottesville, Va.; Jean Almand Kitchin ’70, teacher, businesswoman, TV producer and host, and former trustee, of Rocky Mount; N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore ’92 of Kings Mountain; and recently retired UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams ’72 (’73 MAT) and his wife, Wanda ’72, of Chapel Hill.
Trustees Chair David Boliek Jr. ’90 announced the awards Thursday at the trustees meeting in Chapel Hill. Established by the trustees in 1984, the Davie Award was named for the Revolutionary War hero who introduced and won passage of a 1789 bill in the General Assembly to charter the University of North Carolina.
Cooper is in his second term as North Carolina’s 75th governor. Before becoming governor, he served four terms as the state’s attorney general, first taking the office in 2000. He was also a member of the N.C. House of Representatives and the N.C. Senate, including a stint as the Democratic senate majority leader. Born and reared in Nash County, Cooper attended UNC on what is now a Morehead-Cain Scholarship. In 1997, he received a Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from the General Alumni Association.
Hadley, a first-generation college student who grew up in Graham, attended UNC as a Morehead-Cain Scholar and spent two years on the Tar Heels women’s basketball team. After graduating with a degree in public policy analysis, she went on to study political science as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, the first Black woman from North Carolina to receive a Rhodes. She has served on the General Alumni Association Board of Directors, including as chair, and as chair of the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion. She received BAR’s Harvey Beech Award, recognizing Carolina’s outstanding Black alumni, and a Distinguished Service Medal from the GAA. Before taking her post at UVA, Hadley had created a nonprofit to help students navigate their way to college, and her efforts were recognized by the White House and U.S. Department of Education as a “Champion of Change.”
Kitchin graduated from UNC with a bachelor’s degree in education and taught secondary English in three school systems. She then went to work with Almand’s Drug Stores and took over as president and CEO in 1998. After selling Almand’s in October 2014, she continued as chief marketing officer until her retirement in 2017. She has hosted and produced television shows for NBC and ABC affiliates, as well as PBS, dating back 30 years. At Carolina, Kitchin has served on trustees as both vice chair and secretary, the General Alumni Association Board of Directors as chair and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Board of Visitors as chair. She has received the General Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Moore, who represents District 111 in Cleveland County in the N.C. House of Representatives, was first elected to office 2002. He is serving his fourth term as speaker of the House, making him the longest-serving Republican House speaker in the state’s history. He also has served on the UNC System Board of Governors and the General Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. A lifelong resident of Kings Mountain, Moore received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carolina and went on to earn a law degree at Oklahoma City University. Moore joined a law firm in Shelby after graduating from law school in 1995; he opened his own practice in Kings Mountain in 2009.
The Williamses met in ninth grade algebra class at T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville and have been married for 48 years. Wanda Williams, who graduated from UNC with a degree in education and teaching certificate in secondary English, taught for six years in three North Carolina public school systems and oversees the family’s household and other non-basketball matters, including the family’s generous and diverse philanthropic endeavors. The Williamses were initial spokespersons and financial backers of the Carolina Covenant, have raised more than $2.5 million through an annual Fastbreak vs. Cancer breakfast and contributed nearly $6 million to UNC in the 18 years Roy Williams was head coach of the Tar Heel men’s basketball program, among numerous charitable activities.
Roy Williams, whose undergraduate degree also was in education, retired following the 2020-21 season, his 33rd as a college head coach, with the second-most wins in Carolina history, second-most NCAA Tournament games and wins, third-most wins by a Division I coach, fourth-most Final Fours and sixth-highest winning percentage in college basketball history, and the only coach to win 400 games at two different schools. A 2007 inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Williams led Carolina to three NCAA championships, three ACC Tournament titles and nine regular-season ACC championships. He was a consensus National Coach of the Decade for 2000-09 when he won a pair of national championships and directed Kansas and Carolina to five Final Four appearances. He is a recipient of a Distinguished Service Medal from the General Alumni Association.