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The Daily Tar Heel

The new class of Board of Visitors members are pumped to get started

South Building

The Board of Trustees recently selected 56 new members to serve on the Board of Visitors, one of the most active volunteer groups at UNC.

The Board is comprised of approximately 175 alums and contributors to the University and works with the Board of Trustees to further improve UNC.

"Their whole mission is to give back to the University,” said Michael Stutts, the outgoing co-chairperson of the Student Career Services Committee. “What brings the group together is just the love of the University and the desire to do something positive, especially for the students."

Stutts’ Student Career Services Committee is joined by the Membership Involvement, Marketing Communications, Student Recruitment and Government Relations Committees to comprise the Board. 

“My role of chair is basically to organize those committees to ensure that all members connect with their interests in the University,” said Douglas Rothwell, outgoing chairperson of the Board of Visitors. “For example, if they want to help their school, if they want to help the town of Chapel Hill, if they want to work on a certain project, then we get them connected.” 

Stutts first got involved with the Board because of his interest in helping current students at Carolina.

“Everyone comes to the Board of Visitors with a different passion,” Stutts said. “It's all to help the University, but for me, I'm most interested in engaging with the students.”

As chairperson of the Student Career Services Committee, Stutts said he worked to bring together students with alumni in their field of interest who could impart their wisdom. After multiple different iterations of these student-alumni interactions, Stutts is confident of the solution they found.

“We set up small groups of students paired with two or three members of the Board that hosted these dinners around Chapel Hill,” Stutts said. “It's just a way to bring together a group of people who want to help students, who want to provide these connections, and students, that could use some of that guidance.

Although they are leaving the board, due to the four-year term maximum, Stutts and Rothwell both intend to stay active in the Carolina community. Rothwell said that many people use the Board as a beginning of their service to UNC rather than an end. 

"We ensure that once they leave the Board because they're only on for four years, they get transitioned to other activities in the University where they can continue to use what they learned on the Board to be a good ambassador,” Rothwell said.

The Board always has new members joining, effectively replacing the outgoing class. New appointees are nominated by members of the community.

"Nominations come from all different kinds of groups in the University, so the schools, the different departments, will suggest people that they think have a real passion and interest in doing more for the University,” Rothwell said. “People that they think would make great ambassadors, people that would represent the university well and have the interest and time to do it.”

The final nominations must be approved and decided on by the Board of Trustees. Maxine Brown Davis, currently involved with both the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council and the Alumni Committee on Racial & Ethnic Diversity, said she was chosen because of her involvement and support of UNC. 

“I think that this University is one of the better, if not best, things that North Carolina has brought forth, and I’m interested in maintaining that, with a broader and more representative viewpoint,” Davis said.

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