Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory will present the Spirit of North Carolina Award Tuesday to the family of Julius L. Chambers in recognition of his contributions to education and civil rights in the state.
Chambers died in August. He is just the second person to receive the award, which is presented to state employees who have mentored others in the pursuit of excellence and whose achievements are of the highest caliber. They other recipient was Kay Yow, coach of the North Carolina State University women's basketball team, who was honored in 2007.
“Julius Chambers was a pioneer in education and civil rights, and he advanced both fields while in direct service to the people of North Carolina," the governor said in a statement. "His public service and life’s work enriched North Carolina and our nation.”
Chambers, a Mount Gilead native, graduated from North Carolina Central University and later served as the university's chancellor. While there, he established 10 endowed faculty positions, including the $1 million Charles Hamilton Chair at the N.C. Central Law School.
After he retired from NCCU, Chambers served as the founding director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights.