Thorp honored with endowment to support UNC faculty

Holden Thorp, the outgoing chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill, has been honored with the establishment of the Chancellor Holden Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Endowment at the Carolina Center for Public Service. The endowment was created with a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to name and support the Center’s Faculty Engaged Scholars program.

“This endowment is an especially fitting way to honor Chancellor Thorp and his contributions in that it supports faculty from across campus in their efforts to develop and strengthen their teaching and research in ways that benefit communities throughout North Carolina, the nation and the world,” said Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service. “Chancellor Thorp is a great supporter of faculty engagement, and this endowment ensures the funding of the Chancellor Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars program in perpetuity.”

A 1986 graduate of UNC, Thorp has served on the faculty since 1993. Since then he has also been director of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, chair of the chemistry department and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as well as chancellor.

“I can’t imagine something that would mean more to me than being part of an extraordinary legacy of public service at this university,” Thorp said. “[Through the Faculty Engaged Scholars program], it is nice to see public service and applied research come together in ways beyond anything we could have imagined. That is inspiring to me and I am honored to be a part of it.”

The Faculty Engaged Scholars program is an initiative to advance faculty involvement in the engaged scholarship. Scholars are selected through a competitive process. During the two-year program, scholars participate in a highly interactive and experiential curriculum, involving on site-visits and discussions with other Carolina faculty members and their community partners.

The program began in 2007 and the fourth class of scholars was selected last spring. A total of 33 faculty members representing 21 departments have participated in the program. The next class of scholars will be selected in spring 2014 and will be the first to graduate as Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars. The program is committed to building UNC as an institution dedicated to and demonstrating strong university-community relationships.

Published March 28, 2013.