Mike McMorrow, who founded Carolina Livery – the transportation service that serves the Triangle and UNC’s campus with its famous small and medium-sized white buses – died of heart failure in his Durham home on Sept. 1 at 63 years old.
His wife Carol McMorrow met him in 1979 on a Chapel Hill Transit bus, a situation she still finds humor in. At the time, she says Mike didn't have any dreams of owning a bus company.
The two married while still attending UNC in December 1981. Shortly after, Mike got a job at a limousine company to help Carol complete Duke University’s Physician Assistant Program.
Carol said Mike enjoyed the excitement of the transportation business. She said the experience of working at the limousine company motivated him to found Carolina Livery in 1987.
“He was a ridiculously hard worker, but he also had a tremendously big heart,” she said.
Deborah Hawkins, UNC’s parking control and event operations manager, said she first contacted Carolina Livery 22 years ago for help with a women’s soccer match.
“He said, ‘I’d love to help you out,'” Hawkins said. “He was so reassuring and professional.”
Hawkins said that phone call began Carolina Livery's still-standing partnership with the University. Carolina Livery provides shuttles for UNC Athletics, commencement and other University events. The service also operates the Robertson Express, which has buses that run between UNC and Duke University.
She said the shuttles have allowed UNC to move away from using golf carts and to transport people more safely and efficiently.