Local News

New UNC chancellor installed

Posted October 12, 2008 6:28 p.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2008 8:58 p.m. EDT

— The new chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was officially installed Sunday.

Holden Thorp, 43, was installed at a ceremony at 3 p.m. at Polk Place. The public ceremony continues the tradition of installing chancellors on University Day, Oct. 12, the birthday of the oldest state university.

"To advance as a campus community, we must deepen our collective commitment to the people of Carolina. We must motivate and nurture our students academically – and we must provide them with the right environment to find and follow their dreams. We must expect our faculty to succeed in the classroom and in research and service – and make sure they have the resources they need. We must enable our talented staff to provide these resources for teaching and learning – and attend to their circumstances to make this an even better place to work," Thorp said.

An estimated 2,750 attended the event.

“Every time I have seen Holden Thorp speak, he never seems like he is putting on an act. It is exactly what he believes,” UNC student Jordan Price said.

Thorp also talked about safety on campus.

"First and foremost, Carolina must feel safe. Neuroscience shows that people are more likely to have new insights when they feel secure," he said.

Safety has been a topic of discussion this year after police found the body of Eve Carson, UNC's student body president, about a half-mile from the campus while responding to reports of gunfire on March 5. Laurence Lovette, 17, and Demario James Atwater, 21, both of Durham, were later charged with first-degree murder.

“I totally agree with him (Thorp) that only when we feel secure can we really produce our best work,” said James Shelly, UNC senior class president.

Thorp just completed a state tour that he said was intended to demonstrate his personal commitment to the university’s mission of public service and engagement.

Thorp is among the youngest university leaders in the country. The former chemistry professor graduated from the university two decades ago and has spent much of his career there, most recently as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He replaced James Moeser, who stepped down after eight years as chancellor.