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Six Receive University’s Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards

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Posted Oct. 12, 2006
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Six Alumni Honored On University Day

Six alumni received the University’s 2006 Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus awards at a ceremony on University Day, Oct. 12.

This year’s recipients are Valerie Alayne Batts ’74, Angela Rebecca Bryant ’73, William Burwell Harrison Jr. ’66, Weiming Lu ’56 (MRP), Dr. Charles Barnet Nemeroff ’76 (PhD, ’81 MD) and George Edwin Stuart III ’75 (PhD).

Batts and Bryant are co-founders of VISIONS Inc., a nonprofit firm offering consultancy and training in multiculturalism. Both are natives of Rocky Mount. Batts earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She helped found the Black Student Movement at Carolina and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Valkyries and the Order of the Old Well. Bryant earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and her law degree in 1976. She helped develop the Wright Center, a multicultural adult daycare health project in Rocky Mount.

Harrison earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and played basketball for Dean Smith. In 2001, Harrison was named chair and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. He piloted the company through its merger with Bank One Corp. A Rocky Mount native, Harrison has served on Carolina’s Board of Visitors, the Bicentennial Steering Committee and the National Development Council. In 2004, the Board of Trustees honored him with the Davie Award.

Lu earned his master’s in regional planning. As president of Lowertown Redevelopment Corp. in St. Paul, Minn., Lu has advised major urban design projects, including the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and redevelopment of Chattanooga, Tenn., and south-central Los Angeles. Lu is a member of the Committee of 100, a national organization of Chinese American leaders.

Nemeroff is now Reunette W. Harris Professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in the Emory University School of Medicine. His research focuses on biological basis of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and affective disorders. He has received numerous honors, including the Gold Medal Award from the Society of Biological Psychiatry and election to the Institute of Medicine.

Stuart earned his doctoral degree in anthropology. He spent 38 years as resident archaeologist for the National Geographic Society, retiring in 1998, and was the society’s vice president for research and exploration. A resident of Barnardsville, his seven books include Lost Kingdoms of the Maya and The Mysterious Maya. He founded and directs the Center for Maya Research in the Yucatan and oversees the scholarly journals Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing and Ancient America.

The Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards were first presented in 1971 to alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that brought credit to the University.

University Day was created by the UNC Board of Trustees to commemorate the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building, on Oct. 12, 1793. The University was chartered by the N.C. General Assembly in 1789 and welcomed its first students in 1795.


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