After receiving the largest gift in the history of UNC athletics and the Rams Club, the field at Kenan Stadium will have a new name, the UNC football team announced in a press release Monday.
The field will be named in honor of Chris Smith, the son of Eddie Smith Jr. and the late Jo Allison Smith. Eddie and Jo Allison founded the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation in 1994, which made the donation. Chris Smith is actively involved in UNC athletics as a member of the Rams Club’s Executive Board of Directors.
Eddie Smith Jr. has served as a member of the UNC Board of Trustees and Boards of Visitors for the University and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Smith Jr. is the owner, chairman and CEO of Greenville-based Grady-White Boats and a 1965 graduate of UNC. He has also received the William Richardson Davie Award, which is the highest honor given by the Board of Trustees for service to UNC.
The Smith family has a long history of supporting North Carolina athletics, making gifts that have contributed to the construction of the Eddie Smith Field House, the Jo Allison Smith Football Strength & Conditioning Center, the Chris Smith Training Room for the UNC basketball team, the Smith Family Suite Level at Boshamer Stadium and the William Clary Officials' Locker Room at Kenan Stadium.
“Watching the Tar Heels play in Kenan Stadium has been a family affair for over 60 years, and it was important to us to support Coach Mack Brown and his vision for Carolina Football,” Smith Jr. said in the press release. “To be able to honor my son Chris – someone who has shared my passion for Carolina and for promoting positive leadership qualities – is very special. It’s a blessing for us to be able to provide a lasting legacy for Carolina and its football program.”