David M. Moore II '69: A Scholarship Recipient in the 1960s, Creating Opportunities for Student Today

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David M. Moore II ’69 made giving back to Carolina a priority over the years. A brush with mortality merely clarified his intentions. “My health played a major role in my paying more attention to my estate,” he said.

After earning two degrees from Carolina, including his B.A. in 1966 and his J.D. in 1969, Moore practiced law at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP in Greensboro. He specialized in civil litigation.

As a child, Moore suffered back-to-back bouts of rheumatic fever, which scarred the valves in his heart. He had no further significant symptoms until 2004, when he began to experience recurring arrhythmias and deteriorating heart function.

His doctors recommended retiring from his high-stress career. He received two prosthetic valves in 2006, at age 62. “Thankfully, my life was saved by medical science,” he said. “That led me to focus on what was important.”

Moore grew up on a dairy farm in Caldwell County. He always knew he was going to college. What wasn’t as clear was how he was going to pay for it. That problem was solved when he received a Morehead Scholarship (now called the Morehead-Cain). “It was a miraculous thing,” he said. “Carolina opens up your horizons to the world.”

The law school provided him with legal training, a professional career path and a community of peers. “My experience at Carolina Law created an extended family,” he said. “My law school classmates remain my best friends.”

So, after providing for his family in his estate, he wanted to provide for Carolina. He directed that the law school and the Morehead-Cain Foundation be listed as beneficiaries of his 401(k). Moore knew that retirement plan assets owned at death can be the most highly taxed assets in an estate– as much as 65 percent of the total account value. By structuring his gift in this way, a portion of these funds won’t be subject to taxation upon distribution.

“It seemed to be a wonderful way to pay forward the benefits that had been given to me at the University and at the law school.”

Now Moore, who has served on the board and as president of the UNC Law Alumni Association, knows that future students can receive scholarship money, just like he did.

“I’m glad to be alive,” he said. “I enjoyed my career and my law practice very much, but now I’m privileged to enjoy a new season of life that continues to be enriched by my Carolina experience.”

Read the article in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Carolina Law magazine.

-May 18, 2012

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