William Friday, Namesake of UNCW’s Friday Hall and Longtime UNC President, Passes Away
Friday, October 12, 2012
William C. Friday, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, passed away at age 92 on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. A pioneer in higher education, Friday was instrumental in the expansion of the UNC system to include 16 college campuses. Under Friday's tenure as president (1969-1986), UNCW officially transitioned from Wilmington College and became part of the UNC system - advancing from an undergraduate institution to a comprehensive university.
UNCW's Friday Hall, the original home of the marine sciences, was named for Friday and wife, Ida. He was a staunch supporter of UNCW and challenged the school to become a leader in marine science. The original building was completed in 1974 and dedicated on May 17, 1986. It was renovated in 2006-2008 and currently houses part of the Department of Biology and Marine Biology and offers additional space for graduate student offices. Additionally, UNCW's King Hall is named for one of his staff members, A.K. King.
UNCW Chancellor Gary L. Miller commented, "William C. Friday dedicated his life to changing generations of lives in North Carolina through higher education. He led our public university system through a time of tremendous growth and change, and he never lost sight of our universities' true mission: teaching, research and service to benefit the state of North Carolina and its people. He will be sorely missed at UNCW and at colleges and universities across our state and the nation."
More on his life and death can be read at www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/10/12/3593237/former-unc-president-bill-friday.html.