The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd

Blue Skies Shine on UNC's Birthday Gala

The historic brick buildings and venerable trees served as an ideal background for University Day, a celebration of the past that also looks toward the future.

A commemoration of the laying of Old East Residence Hall's cornerstone, the 124th annual University Day featured the installation of Chancellor James Moeser, numerous speeches from prominent leaders and customary traditions.

The event began with a large procession of faculty in full regalia, staff and student leaders who wove their way from Hanes Hall down an aisle of grass and fallen leaves to the front of a decorated South Building. "There's something unique and special in the academic procession . to come together in a form of learning," said Bobbie Lubker, clinical professor of education.

The procession aisle was flanked on both sides with a diverse audience, ranging from alumni to local leaders. But junior Bharath Parthasarathy, from Atlanta, said he wished more students attended the event. "I think it's just part of the University experience."

After opening remarks from UNC-system President Molly Broad, five alumni received the Distinguished Alumnus and Alumna Award.

Interim Provost Richard Edwards and Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell introduced Russell Banks, Nancy Cole, Walter Dellinger, Patricia Love and Willis Whichard and recognized the recipients' accomplishments.

Gov. Jim Hunt began the greetings after the Carolina Choir sang "Hosanna to the Son of David." Hunt's show of support for the $3.1 billion higher education bond marked the first mention of a topic prevalent throughout the remaining speeches. Shouts of protest from UE Local 150, a branch of the N.C. Public Service Workers Union, also began during the governor's speech.

The group's vocal presence continued during Moeser's speech. But he was not deterred from addressing national rankings and efforts needed to maintain UNC's excellence.

"I thought Chancellor Moeser's speech was truly exceptional," Edwards said. "It set a tone for the University as we move into the 21st century."

The ceremony drew to a close with South Building's bell chiming nine times, symbolizing the University welcoming Moeser into the fold as its ninth chancellor.

Faculty marshal Ronald Hyatt, who led the faculty procession, described the day as one of the best University Days he had attended. "It was a marvelous occasion," he said. "It was one of those October days that Thomas Wolfe wrote about."

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