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New job for Connor

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By Todd Cohen

W. Robert Connor, who retired Dec. 31 after 13 years as president and director of the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, has a new job and has been honored with an endowment fund created in his honor.

On May 1, Conner will become president and CEO of The Teagle Foundation, splitting his time between its New York City headquarters and a satellite office he will open in Hillsborough, N.C.

Formed in 1944 by Walter C. Teagle, long-time president and later board chairman of Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, now ExxonMobile Corp., the $120 million-asset foundation focuses on private higher education and this year will distribute about $9 million in grants.

The foundation historically has supported a lot of schools in the Southeast, Connor says, including at least 15 in North Carolina.

To honor Connor, who plans to spend the next few months completing a book on ancient Athenian history, an anonymous donor has given the Humanities Center $300,000 to create an education endowment fund.

Connor says one of his asks at the foundation will be to rethink its strategy.

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