Trustees Honor Four With Davie Awards

The Board of Trustees has honored four recipients with the William Richardson Davie Award, its highest honor.

They are:

  • Joan Gillings of Chapel Hill, adviser and philanthropist;
  • Bernadette Gray-Little of Lawrence, Kan., chancellor of the University of Kansas;
  • Luther Hodges Jr. ’57 of Chapel Hill, president of Phoenix Associates Inc.; and
  • Nelson Schwab III ’67 of Charlotte, managing director of Carousel Capital.

Established by the trustees in 1984, the award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who is considered the father of the University. It recognizes extraordinary service to UNC or society.

In 2007, Joan and Dennis Gillings made the largest single commitment in University history: $50 million to the School of Public Health, renamed the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gillings serves on school’s acceleration advisory committee and supports Carolina’s PlayMakers Repertory Company, the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, and pediatric oncology and hematology at UNC Hospitals. She received the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2008.

From her childhood home in Washington, N.C., Gray-Little entered Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with high honors. Master’s and doctoral degrees from St. Louis University followed with research into the impact of society and culture on personality and psychopathology, much of the inquiry conducted in Copenhagen on a Fulbright Fellowship. Gray-Little joined UNC’s faculty in 1971 and advanced through the ranks from assistant professor to director of the graduate program in psychology, chair of the department, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, executive associate provost, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and executive vice chancellor and provost. She received the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2009.

Hodges earned his MBA in economics and finance from Harvard Business School. He began a banking career with North Carolina National Bank and advanced to become chair of what is now Bank of America. Later, in the Carter administration, he served as the first U.S. deputy secretary of the Department of Commerce. His career since has included additional executive posts in banking as well as in publishing. He now is president of Phoenix Associates Inc., a venture capital firm. He also has held faculty appointments at UNC, Duke University and the University of New Mexico.

Schwab earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He started out his career in real estate development and went on to form his own enterprise, Kings Entertainment Co., operating regional theme parks. He sold the company to Paramount Communications and assumed leadership as CEO and chairman of Paramount Parks. In 1996, he and Erskine Bowles ’67, who retired at the end of 2010 as UNC System president, formed Carousel Capital, a private firm investing in Southeastern-based companies. Schwab served eight years on the Board of Trustees, including two as chair.

Share via: