Seniors then voted to choose their favorite professor, with about 300 participating.
When asked why he was chosen, Maitland laughed.
“Never underestimate the power of free beer and T-shirts,” he said.
Maitland started Top of the Hill while he was a law student at UNC, he said.
At the time, the landlord of the restaurant property announced that a T.G.I. Friday’s was going to be put in the space, and members of the town were very upset, he said.
Maitland said he was inspired to create a place where all the different types of people at UNC — faculty, undergraduates and graduate students — could come together and interact.
He was also excited about starting a microbrewery and offering a unique product, Maitland said.
“It was the ultimate anti-chain,” he said.
Drescher said she was happy that Maitland was chosen because his involvement with Top of the Hill makes him different from professors who have given the lecture in the past.
“I think he is awesome,” she said. “He is a unique spin on the Last Lecture.”
Maitland said he thinks he might have been chosen because of the close relationship Top of The Hill has with the University as one of its main social centers.
But he said there might be another reason he was chosen.
“I could just be really good looking,” Maitland said.
Senior Walt Peters said Maitland is a great choice for the Last Lecture.
“He is an incredibly brilliant speaker,” Peters said. “We all have a personal connection to him.”
Maitland said he was surprised when he was notified of the selection, so he has not yet had time to think about what he will say.
“Whatever I will say is definitely going to come from the heart,” he said.
“Obviously people want to hear me, so I won’t disappoint,” he added.
Contact the University Editor ?at firstname.lastname@example.org.