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The UNC trustees presented four individuals with the William Richardson Davie Award, the board’s highest honor, on Nov. 17.
Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 and the trustees honored state Sen. Linda Garrou ’67 of Winston-Salem, Quintiles Transnational Corp. founder Dennis Gillings of the Triangle, Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser of Chapel Hill and state Sen. Richard Stevens ’70 of Cary.
Established by the Board of Trustees in 1984, the Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who is considered the father of the University. It recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.
Garrou is serving her sixth term representing North Carolina’s 32nd District in the Senate. The Senate’s senior budget writer for eight of her 11 years in office, Garrou has been a strong advocate for education. She was instrumental in supporting a $3.1 billion bond referendum for state universities and community colleges as well as financial aid and enrollment increases at N.C. campuses. She has served on Carolina’s Board of Visitors.
In 2007, Dennis and Joan Gillings made the largest single commitment from an individual in University history: $50 million to the School of Public Health, renamed the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dennis Gillings’ generosity springs from long ties to Carolina. In 1971, he joined UNC’s faculty as associate professor of biostatistics. While a full professor and director of the Biometrics Consulting Laboratory, Gillings consulted for pharmaceutical companies that needed help analyzing data from clinical trials. From these beginnings, he founded Quintiles Transnational Corp. in 1982. The General Alumni Association awarded him its Distinguished Service Medal in 2008.
Moeser came to Chapel Hill in 2000 as Carolina’s ninth chancellor, serving until 2008. During his tenure, the Carolina First Campaign raised a record-setting $2.38 billion. He helped launch the Carolina Covenant, providing a debt-free education to deserving low-income students, now a national model; oversaw the largest capital construction program in campus history; and oversaw steady growth in faculty research funding. He is a professor in UNC’s music department. The GAA awarded him its Distinguished Service Medal in 2008.
Stevens is a triple graduate of Carolina: a Rotary scholar who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, his law degree and his master’s degree in public administration. He worked his way up the ladder of public service to become Wake County manager and, in 2002, was elected to the Senate. His legislative duties have included co-chairing the appropriations on education/higher education and education/higher education committees. Stevens served eight years on the Board of Trustees, including as chair. He is past chair and treasurer of the GAA, which honored him with its Distinguished Service Medal in 1994.