On Nov. 14, Chancellor Carol Folt and the Board of Trustees honored a former UNC professor and three other University partners with the William Richardson Davie Award, the BOT's highest individual honor.
The recipients of the 2018 award are former professor James Peacock of Chapel Hill, Munroe Cobey of Chapel Hill, Kay Massey Weatherspoon of Charlotte and Leonard Wood of Atlanta. The award is given to individuals who exemplify dedication, commitment and service to the University or society, according to a University press release.
The award is named for William Richardson Davie, a Revolutionary War figure who introduced and completed the passage of a 1789 bill in the General Assembly to charter the University of North Carolina.
Peacock earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University in 1959 and went on to earn a doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University. He began his teaching career at Princeton University in 1965, where he helped create a doctoral program in anthropology.
Peacock arrived at UNC in 1967 as a professor of anthropology, and later served as the chairperson of the Department of Anthropology, chairperson of the Faculty Council and director of the UNC Center for International Studies. He retired from his teaching role in 2015.
Peacock said to him, the award symbolizes a history of achievement for the University.
“Think back to 1793, Old East, Old Well, and think forward to Nobel Prizes and National Championships in basketball — that’s our history,” he said. “What’s very impressive to me, and I think to everybody, is that for 200 years the state has supported the University, and at the same time the University has reached way beyond just the state.”
In his time at the University, Peacock worked to expand UNC’s global outreach programs and was a co-founder of the Center for International Studies. He also helped start World View, a UNC program that trains K-12 and community college educators to bring a global perspective into their classrooms.
The Florence and James Peacock Atrium at the Fedex Global Education Center is named in his honor.