The Morehead-Cain Foundation is looking for a new executive director after more than 30 years of the same person holding the position.
The current executive director, Chuck Lovelace, has been with the foundation since 1984 and is leaving at the end of this academic year.
“I’ve been with the foundation for 35 years, and it’s just time for new leadership,” Lovelace said. “We’ve really taken the program, along with my wonderful team, to a really good point.”
The search for a new executive director is underway, and Lovelace said he does not know exactly what his future holds.
“We interviewed search firms last winter and hired one this spring,” Lovelace said. “They started their work in August.”
The foundation sent an email to the Morehead-Cain scholars announcing Lovelace’s departure on Aug. 15.
The email, signed by Lovelace, said that the transition had been planned for some time and that it is time for new leadership to take the program to the next level.
The search firm will choose a pool of applicants to present to the search committee, which is a subcommittee of the Morehead-Cain Board of Trustees.
Lovelace was a Morehead-Cain scholar himself and graduated in 1977. He got an MBA from UNC and then started working at the foundation in 1984. He was promoted to executive director in 1987.
In the Aug. 15 email announcement, Lovelace said he expected to return to private industry after a brief time with the foundation, but discovered a passion for working with students. He was the treasurer when he joined the foundation in 1984 but said that he ended up doing a lot of his finance and accounting work on nights and weekends so he could prioritize spending time with the scholars.
“The time spent with the students has been really rewarding in more ways that I can really describe,” Lovelace said.
Morehead-Cain senior Ashley Meise said she met Lovelace when she was a senior in high school at the scholarship’s finalist weekend.
“He’s a very personable guy, always wearing a bow tie,” Meise said. “He’s just very friendly.”
She said Lovelace has been especially helpful with networking.
“He knows the alumni network really well because he’s been around for so long and has maintained relationships with so many people,” Meise said. “He’s really good to go to, to put you in the direction for that, or just life advising of career paths.”
Lovelace said he has enjoyed staying in touch with Morehead-Cain scholars, keeping up with their careers and families over the years.
“Ever since I got to school he’s always been a great role model and someone who really cares what you’re doing,” Morehead-Cain junior Luke Buxton said.
Buxton said Lovelace remembers details about every scholar in the program and makes a point to ask students about their specific endeavors whenever he sees them.
“It’s been a real privilege to serve the University this way and the Foundation is fully committed to maintaining and enhancing the excellence of the University,” Lovelace said.