UNC-CH gets $6 million for honors program

In a tribute to outgoing Chancellor James Moeser, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $6 million gift to be used to expand its honors program for undergraduates.

The gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill will be used to hire new faculty members and help double the number of students eligible for the program.

“This gift will greatly help our ability to recruit top undergraduates, as well as keep talented North Carolina students here at home,” James Leloudis, the university’s associate dean for honors, says in a statement.

The gift also will leverage an additional $3 million in funds from the state through the North Carolina Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust, which matches grants made to recruit and keep faculty.

The Kenan gift will be used to create six $1 million endowments, each of which will be supplemented by $500,000 from the state’s matching grant.

Those six endowments will fund at least six new William R. Kenan Jr. Fellows or Scholars within the school’s College of Arts and Sciences.

That additional teaching capacity will allow the university to invite more students into the honors program, which in 2007 included 200 first-year students.

The Kenan contribution follows two other gifts in 2007 that, together with matching funds from the state, provided a total of $9.5 million for the honors program.

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