UNC is the only university that has a piece of water infrastructure as its official logo, a fact that was made crystal clear Thursday afternoon.
The University kicked off H2O Carolina, a two-year research focus, at the Old Well Thursday with a reading of Caridad Svich’s play “The Way of Water.”
The program aims to make major breakthroughs in water research and integrate the theme campus-wide, said Jamie Bartram, director of the University’s Water Institute and a former United Nations water expert.
Chancellor Holden Thorp said the theme is another way UNC can focus on sustainability.
“It’s a great opportunity to show how Carolina fosters scholarship that helps improve people’s lives,” he said in a press release.
The University also announced a new endowed professorship that will allow the Gillings School of Global Public Health to recruit a professor who is a global leader in research and policy for improving the world’s access to clean water.
The Don and Jennifer Holzworth Distinguished Professorship Fund was established with a $666,000 donation from the Holzworths, according to a Thursday press release. The fund will total more than $1 million through matching funds from the state.
Bartram said this is the first time an American university has brought the entirety of its resources together to focus on one theme for more than a semester or year.
“Taking a campus-wide approach to that charge through the water theme marks a first in recent University history,” Bartram said. “What we are proposing to do is bigger and more exciting than what others have done before.”