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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees has presented its highest honor, the William Richardson Davie Award, to seven alumni in recognition of their “dedication, commitment, loyalty and service.”

During a dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Carolina Inn, Chancellor Carol L. Folt and the trustees honored Russell M. “Rusty” Carter of Wilmington; John G.B. Ellison Jr. of Greensboro; Michael Kennedy of Atlanta, Georgia; Sallie Krawcheck of New York City; A. Donald “Don” Stallings and Billie Jones Stallings of Rocky Mount; and Michael L. Zollicoffer of Baltimore, Maryland.

Established by the Board of Trustees in 1984, the Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who is considered the father of the University. It recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.

Rusty Carter is the president of Atlantic Corp., one of the top privately held companies in North Carolina, and a generous donor to the University. A journalism major at Carolina who graduated in 1971, Carter and his family created a distinguished professorship in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in honor of his father, Horace, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his editorials against the Ku Klux Klan in the Tabor City (N.C.) Tribune. Carter’s other areas of support include cancer research and athletics. He has served on the Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors, and his honors include the Distinguished Service Medal from the General Alumni Association (GAA).

John Ellison, chairman of the Ellison Co., earned his undergraduate degree in history (1969) and M.B.A. (1972) at Carolina. He has served on multiple boards, including the Board of Visitors and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board. In 2003, he began an eight-year tenure on the Board of Trustees, during which time he partnered with then-Student Body President J.J. Raynor to produce “Carolina – the Best Place to Teach, Learn and Discover,” a strategic plan encompassing more than 1,000 interviews on how to improve the quality of education at Carolina. He has supported many areas on campus, including Kenan-Flagler Business School, Carolina Performing Arts and student aid. The GAA has recognized him with a Distinguished Service Medal.

Michael Kennedy is a senior partner at Korn/Ferry International in Atlanta. He graduated from Carolina in 1979, earning a history degree with highest honors, and went on to get an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, the largest pension fund in the country. At Carolina, Kennedy has been instrumental in recruiting alumni of color to volunteer and leadership roles to support the University. He has served on several boards, including at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and the Center for the Study of the American South. He chaired the Board of Visitors for two consecutive terms and is a strong supporter of the School of Education. The GAA has recognized him with the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award.

Sallie Krawcheck, a Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, double majored in journalism and political science and graduated with highest honors in 1987, and then went on to earn an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She is now one of the most successful and influential leaders in financial services. Known for turning around and growing troubled wealth management businesses, eliminating Wall Street conflicts of interest, and advocating a client-centered business model, Krawcheck recently became an entrepreneur by creating The Ellevate Network, which she chairs. It is dedicated to the belief that the economic engagement of women worldwide is smart business. A generous supporter of the Morehead-Cain Foundation, she has served on the UNC Foundation Investment Board and the Global Leadership Council.

Don and Billie Stallings have championed the University for more than half a century, serving in multiple volunteer roles. Their son Eddie was born with cardiac defects, which fueled their passion for cardiovascular research. They have established a fund in the School of Medicine to support research in cardiovascular disease, and given generously to many areas of campus, including the Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Center, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Dentistry. Don was a member of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Visitors. A past chair of the Rams Club, he attended Carolina from 1956 to 1960, lettering three years in football, and left to play professionally for the Washington Redskins. He is now chair and executive officer at Eagle Transport Corporation, headquartered in Rocky Mount. Billie chairs the Cardiovascular Medicine Advisory Board and is a member of the Medical Foundation Board. She attended Campbell University and Meredith College.

A son of one of the first African Americans who graduated from UNC School of Medicine, Michael Zollicoffer also received his medical degree at Carolina, graduating in 1985. Inspired by his father, Lawrence, the younger Zollicoffer now runs the practice in Baltimore’s inner city, making house calls to patients who are too sick to come to the clinic and giving out his mobile phone number. He also mentors medical students and established a lecture series at Carolina in honor of his father, who died in 1976. He has served on and chaired the Board of Visitors and serves on the Alumni Reconnect Campaign for the Medical Foundation. He has also served on the board of the GAA, which has honored him with the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award.

Published November 20, 2014