UNC Campus Connections

Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Campus Connections.

Iconic Chapel Hill restaurant Crook's Corner serves southern food with modern twist

Situated on West Franklin Street, Crook’s Corner serves Southern classics with a modern twist. Crook’s features flavorful dishes from acclaimed chef and has been named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation. Crook’s is also the birthplace of modern shrimp and grits, its most popular dish — originally a low-country breakfast. (

Bill Leslie: The best BLT is at Merritt’s Grill

The best BLT I’ve ever tasted at home or in a restaurant is in Chapel Hill. I was there this week with friends and we all agreed – it doesn’t get any better than at Merritt’s Grill. Merritt’s gets its bacon from a supplier in Lexington. The tomatoes come from a farm just over the Virginia line. It’s amazing how consistently good the BLT is at Merritt’s year-round. (

UNC awarded $19 million to study atherosclerosis risk in communities

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center at Gillings School of Global Public Health's has been awarded a five-year, $19 million contract from the National Institute of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to conduct the next phase of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. (

Fighter of racism. Mentor to many. J. Kenneth Lee 'stood at the front of the line all the time'

Before he was a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall had represented J. Kenneth Lee as a student in the fight to integrate UNC's Law School. As a lawyer, Lee would represent five black girls in the fight to attend the all-white Gillespie Park Elementary in 1957, making Greensboro one of the first cities in the Southeast to desegregate its public schools. (Greensboro News & Record)

UNC Children’s Hospital has a sweet new car

UNC Children’s Hospital has a sweet new ride, and it’s transporting patients to the operating room in style. Surgery can be scary for kids and their parents, but the pint-sized remote-controlled car is making the trip easier for everyone. Pediatric and adult neurosurgeon Carolyn Quinsey donated the car to bring laughter and joy to her patients as they head into surgery. (

J. Kenneth Lee, former student whose lawsuit helped desegregate the University, dies at 94

J. Kenneth Lee, one of four African-American students who joined a lawsuit that led to the desegregation of the UNC School of Law, has died at age 94..Lee was part of the lawsuit filed in 1949. He and the other plaintiffs were represented by Thurgood Marshall, then director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and later associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (

Something new is cooking in the old Spanky's kitchen. It involves fried chicken.

How do you follow up a four-decade restaurant? Fried chicken is a not a bad start. Spanky's restaurant became a Franklin Street icon in Chapel Hill, serving generations of UNC students and nostalgic alumni over 41 years. The restaurant closed in March but reopened in June after a two-month rebranding. Meet Lula's, a fried chicken concept. (Durham Herald-Sun)

UNC alumna Olivia Holder named 2018 Yenching Scholar

UNC alumna Olivia Holder will join the fourth cohort at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, as a Yenching scholar. A Yenching Academy scholarship offers a fully funded interdisciplinary master’s degree in China studies. Holder will enter the program in fall 2018 with a concentration in history and archeology. She is UNC’s first Yenching scholar. (

Craving pizza? Here are Chapel Hill's top 5 options

1. Magone Italian Grill & Pizza: Located at 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite F, the Italian restaurant is the highest-rated pizza spot in Chapel Hill, boasting 4.5 stars out of 55 reviews on Yelp. 2. Italian Pizzeria III is situated at 508 W. Franklin St. and helmed by Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone. With four stars out of 154 reviews on Yelp, the Italian spot is a local favorite. (ABC 11)

At Carolina, Shark Week lasts for decades

For more than 45 years, researchers from UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City have been catching as many sharks as possible, recording myriad types of data and physically collecting data (which is analyzed in a lab later), before quickly returning the sharks back to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the longest-running shark survey in the United States. (

Start Here / Never Stop Podcast: Chris Brown '91 and C.L. Brown '94

Alumni brothers ’91 and C.L. Brown '94 have made their marks on the media landscape. Chris has worked for NBC, Nickelodeon, PBS, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, and was a recurring character on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? C.L. is a senior writer for The Fieldhouse. He has been a sportswriter and college basketball reporter at (

The note on Wall Street titan, UNC alum Dick Jenrette's desk: 'What I Learned (How to Succeed)'

The list he took down before he died was surely in character. Richard Jenrette was always jotting notes on the way he saw the world, his thoughts on how to lead a good life. His health was ailing after a long fight with lymphoma, and he'd soon depart New York for the last time. He was leaving the place where he built a reputation as a Wall Street giant for Charleston. (Charleston Post and Courier)

Before Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon, they came to Chapel Hill to study the stars

Every July 20, the world rediscovers the thrill of Apollo 11, watching grainy footage of Neil Armstrong sinking his boot into moon dust — the first human to touch Earth’s “lonely satellite.” But on the moon landing’s 49th anniversary, it bears recalling that both Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin learned to navigate the stars at UNC’s Morehead Planetarium. (Durham Herald-Sun)

TripAdvisor just named this the best burger joint in America. Here's what it's like to eat there.

There are few accolades more impressive than winning the title for best burger spot in America, but Al's Burger Shack, a two-restaurant chain in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, just took the trophy. The restaurant was awarded the title of top burger destination in the United States by TripAdvisor, which based its rankings on an analysis of millions of reviews by customers. (Business Insider)

Remembering Bert Bennett

Bert Bennett Jr.’s record as a political figure is difficult to match. He played an integral part in the election of governors and and led John F. Kennedy’s campaign in North Carolina. His influence in transforming the state into a model of the New South is revered to this day. He also amassed an impressive resume as a businessman. (Winston-Salem Journal)
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