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UNC Campus Connections

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Michael Eric Dyson’s 1996 Commencement Speech

Twenty years ago this week, UNC professor Michael Eric Dyson delivered the commencement address at the winter graduation ceremony. The speech, “Is America Still a Dream?,” was immediately controversial. Dyson, a faculty member in the department of communications, wrote about rap music and contemporary African American culture. (UNC.edu)

New owners: Southern Season brand is here to stay

Eric Brinsfield, CEO of Calvert Retail, says the Southern Season you've known for the past few decades isn't going anywhere – despite the $18 million bankruptcy that resulted in a recent ownership change. Calvert Retail, the Delaware firm behind Kitchen & Company, bought the Chapel Hill gourmet retailer out of bankruptcy in August for $3.5 million. (Triangle Business Journal)

Carolina to lead one of five national transportation centers

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center has been selected to run a National University Transportation Center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The University will receive $2.8 million in the first year, and up to $15 million in grant funding over five years. (UNC.edu)

A faculty talent pipeline at UNC

When Jillian Lee Dempsey was interviewing for faculty positions across the country several years ago, she was thrilled to find that Carolina’s senior faculty members were uniquely supportive of her. “They were invested in my success,” said Dempsey, now a UNC assistant professor of chemistry who examines challenges associated with solar energy conversion. (UNC.edu)

‘Caring hearts and laser-sharp minds’ graduate at Winter Commencement

A rainstorm during the Winter Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 18, cooled the unseasonably warm (71-degree) afternoon, but nothing dampened the spirits of the Tar Heels in the Smith Center about to receive their degrees – or their friends and families. In all, 2,166 members of Carolina’s second class of 2016 were eligible to receive their degrees. (UNC.edu)

UNC graduate looks to expand beyond futuristic furniture

It’s called “Nugget” and it’s portable, lightweight, and a hit with college students and kids alike, but what is it? A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate set out to make the perfect couch and came up with the idea. Thanks to some creativity and a crowdfunding website, the local business it taking off. (WNCN)

Carolina ranked top college value for 16th time

Once again, UNC is the best value in American public higher education, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. This is the 16th time the nation’s first public university is also first in value. Recognized for upholding academic quality and affordability, Carolina takes the top ranking among public colleges in two categories: Best in-state and best out-of-state value. (UNC.edu)

Carolina student, alumna named Schwarzman Scholars

Jialing (LingLing) Jiang, a fourth-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Chang Zhao, a 2015 graduate of the University, have been selected for the Schwarzman Scholars program, an elite China-based scholarship modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship and founded by Blackstone Co-Founder and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman. (UNC.edu)

UNC alum advancing education for children displaced by war

There’s another side to the conflict in the Middle East – one you don’t often hear about. “Two million kids in refugee camps are out of school right now. There’s the potential for a lost generation,” says U.S. Army veteran and entrepreneur Scott Quilty (UNC EMBA ’15). Quilty is the co-founder of TentED, a nonprofit aimed at advancing education for children displaced by war. (UNC.edu)

English professor and study abroad pioneer Christopher Armitage celebrates 100th semester at UNC

Christopher Armitage, professor of English, will celebrate his 100th semester at UNC in spring 2017. Armitage said he started teaching at the University the same day he received his Ph.D. from Duke University, in 1967. He said one difference he sees between 1967 and 2016 is that more students study abroad. (Daily Tar Heel)

UNC Business Students Give Away Another Car

This past Friday was an exciting day for one Durham man, Mussasa Mpengh. Social entrepreneur and Kenan-Flagler Business School instructor, Jim Kitchen, had a very big surprise in store for Mpengh. “Mussasa, this is your new car, and these guys made it possible,” said Kitchen, as he pointed to the group of students standing by. (Chapelboro.com)

Former Astronaut John Glenn Trained at UNC

Tributes continue to pour in for former astronaut John Glenn. He died at the age of 95 in Ohio Thursday. Before becoming a national hero, Glenn trained with other astronauts at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1960 and 1961. (TWC News)

UNC researcher develops innovative drug to treat Sickle Cell patients

A new drug shows dramatic promise to help Sickle Cell patients reduce painful episodes. UNC's Dr. Kenneth Ataga was the principal investigator for an investigational drug called Crizanlizumab. The trial involved 198 participants in a multi-center, randomized trial. The “Sustain Trial” results were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. (WRAL.com)

John Edwards Lists $6.9-Million Mansion With Tar Heels Basketball Court

John Edwards is selling his Chapel Hill, N.C., mansion. His 102-acre property, which recently hit the market for $6.9 million, has nine bedrooms and 10.5 bathrooms in 23,768 square feet. It has two kitchens, handball court, indoor swimming pool and enormous barn, which holds a full-lenth basketball court emblazoned with Carolina blue and the Tar Heels' logo. (Hero Sports)

Carolina Firsts: Henry Owl

Henry Owl, a member of the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians, was the first Native American student to attend UNC. Owl came to Carolina in the fall of 1928 and graduated the following year with a Master of Arts in History. Owl was born in 1896 near Rattlesnake Mountain in western North Carolina. He attended the school at the Cherokee reservation. (UNC.edu)

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