Topics: Bill Friday

Bill Friday is known as the father of the UNC system. He served as its first president from 1956 to 1986. Over his thirty years he saw the system grow from three campuses to 16.

Friday fought for the desegregation of universities and the preservation of historically black colleges. Even after his retirement in 1986, he stayed active in higher education, pushing for the lowering of tuition.

He passed away in 2012 at the age of 92.

Ida Friday, wife of former UNC-system president, dies at 97

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Ida Howell Friday was a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and social justice — and the wife of former UNC-system President Bill Friday.


Ida Friday dies at 97

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Ida Friday, an advocate for women’s rights, social justice, and public health and the wife of former UNC-system President Bill Friday, died on Monday.


Speaker Ban remembered, activism persists

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Fifty years ago today, students took a stand for their First Amendment rights — defying the state legislature and inviting previously banned speakers to Chapel Hill.


Bill Friday exhibit opens on campus

Those who want to learn about the life of the first UNC-system president can visit a new on-campus exhibit dedicated to the late Bill Friday.


Q&A with Bill Friday’s biographer William Link

William A. Link, a history professor at the University of Florida, began the several-year process of writing a biography of Friday when he was a UNC-Greensboro professor. The biography, titled “William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education,” was published in 1995. After Friday’s death, Link updated the biography for a recently-published second edition.


University and state leaders honor William Friday at Memorial Hall

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Members of the University community and state higher education and political leaders paid tribute this morning to William Friday, the first UNC-system president and one of the most prominent higher education leaders for the state and nation in the 20th century.


A UNC Basketball Coach's Respect, Connection and Relationship with Bill Friday

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North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell passed along this story about her relationship with the late Bill Friday Monday afternoon.


Friday leaves stirring legacy

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On the day UNC-Chapel Hill celebrated the 219th anniversary of the laying of the foundation for the nation’s first state university building, the University and the state mourned the loss of the UNC system’s most foundational figure, its cornerstone — William Friday.


Community reacts to the death of Bill Friday

Former UNC-system President Bill Friday died this morning. He was 92. Friday was the system’s first president, and became North Carolina’s most visible and well-known figure in higher education.


Former UNC-system President Bill Friday dies at 92

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Former UNC-system President William Friday has died, said Nancy Davis, spokeswoman for the University. He was 92.


Q&A: Bill Friday talks NCAA reform

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A sage of North Carolina higher education, Bill Friday was president of the UNC system from 1956 to 1986 and a founding co-chairman of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.


A look back on legacy

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For the past forty years, the UNC system’s 16 universities have upheld the state constitution’s mandate to keep the cost of education affordable.


Holden Thorp pursues ambitions in face of budget cuts, football scandal

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Holden Thorp is trying to walk a straight line in the changing world of higher education. As the University’s 10th chancellor, he, like every other chancellor who has come before him, has had to balance present emergencies with a vision of UNC’s future. And he’s no stranger to emergencies.


Thorps, Fridays share love stories, advice

The most powerful couple on campus started at age 12. Growing up in Fayetteville, Holden and Patti Thorp were cast in a production of “Peter Pan.”


William Friday has 90th birthday

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Not many people celebrate their 90th birthday on a college campus. But not many people are like William Friday — the man who devoted one-third of his life to serving as president of the UNC system.


Friday urges need for free news media

The N.C. Scholastic Media Institute hosted a UNC icon and legend on Tuesday. And although it may not have been someone most student attendees were familiar with, he delivered a strong message.


Easley Chats It Up With Friday

Former UNC-system President Bill Friday chatted with Gov. Mike Easley Wednesday night about North Carolina’s future and his plans to improve education and deal with a burgeoning population. About 30 people attended the interview, which was part of the Tuesdays with Friday series at the 10th anniversary celebration of the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.