William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust Announces $1 Million Gift to UNC School of Law in Memory of UNC President Emeritus William Friday

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The trustees of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust announced a gift of $1 million to UNC School of Law in memory of William C. Friday ’48, who died Oct. 12, 2012. The trustees designated the gift for support of student scholarships.
Friday attended UNC School of Law after serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 until 1946 during World War II. While a student, Friday was president of the Law School Association. He graduated in 1948.

Considered an icon of American public higher education, Friday served as president of the University of North Carolina for 30 years. During his tenure as president, he oversaw the racial desegregation of the University and its expansion to include all 16 of North Carolina’s public universities. After retiring from UNC in 1986, Friday served as the Kenan Charitable Trust's first executive director.

"Mr. Friday was a giant not only in the field of higher education, but also in the field of philanthropy,” said Richard M. Krasno, executive director of the Kenan Charitable Trust, in a written statement announcing the gift. “His compassion and thoughtful approach to grant making is evident throughout North Carolina and across the U.S. We will miss him deeply."
The law school will use the funds to establish a named, endowed scholarship in memory of Friday.

“This generous gift is an especially appropriate tribute to Bill Friday, who devoted his 60-year career to maintaining broad student access to the state university system because of his abiding belief in the transformative power of public education,” says John Charles “Jack” Boger ’74, dean and Wade Edwards Distinguished Professor of Law.

The Kenan family has a long history of support of UNC School of Law, starting with a $150,000 gift from Sarah Graham Kenan in 1962 to support distinguished professorships, made in honor of her late husband and UNC School of Law alumnus Graham Kenan. Other gifts to the law school from Sarah Graham Kenan include scholarships in her name and money to erect the law school’s Graham Kenan Courtroom. Today, more than 100 students have received scholarship support from the Sarah Graham Kenan Fund. In addition, the law school boasts three of 15 distinguished professorships funded at UNC by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

“The newly announced gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust to support scholarships meets one of our highest needs and will benefit law students for years to come,” says Boger.

Read more about this gift in the Fall-Winter 2012 issue of Carolina Law.

-October 17, 2012

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