Gene Nichol, Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, received the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award from the UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Council Oct. 1.
“Through his work with the Center, and through his written and spoken public testimony, he has done more than any other academic figure in recent days to publicize the plight of the poor in North Carolina,” said Patrick Conway, Bowman and Gordon Gray Professor of Economics, at the ceremony.
The Thomas Jefferson Award was established in 1961 by the Robert Earll McConnell Foundation. It is presented annually to “that member of the academic community who through personal influence and performance of duty in teaching, writing, and scholarship has best exemplified the ideals and objectives of Thomas Jefferson.”
One of Nichol’s accomplishments cited for the award was his participation in the 2012 Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty. Nichol traveled the state with leaders of non-profits and church groups to bring public attention to areas of poverty in North Carolina.
“I consider the Thomas Jefferson Award to be one of the most prestigious awards that we as faculty can offer to one among us,” said Conway. “To be ‘Jeffersonian’ is to be an individual with questing intellect, with public conscience, with a preference for action to redress injustice. I am pleased that this year we recognize Professor Gene Nichol as an exemplar of those traits.”
-October 21, 2013