A $10 million gift from alumni Bill and Anne Harrison of Greenwich, Connecticut to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will strengthen the University’s global programs and presence. The generous gift from the Harrisons will endow two new senior-level leadership positions and support the strategic priorities of UNC Global, which incorporates many of the centralized programs and services that support Carolina’s global mission.
A search is already underway for a new full-time chief global officer and vice provost for global affairs who will report to the executive vice chancellor and provost. In September, the University announced the hiring of a new associate provost for global affairs, Raymond Farrow, who will serve as the chief operating officer and executive director of UNC Global and will serve as interim chief global officer until a vice provost is named.
“I am so grateful for Bill and Anne’s steadfast commitment to Carolina and all those who study and work here. They have done so much for our community, and this tremendous gift reflects their support and belief in Carolina’s global mission,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Their loving generosity will help us integrate global thinking across our campus and guarantee that every student graduates with the skills they need to serve our world.”
In Jan. 2017, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees endorsed The Blueprint for Next, a strategic framework and vision for the growth of the University. The plan included a “global mindset” as a fundamental imperative for the campus. In conjunction, Chancellor Folt reviewed UNC’s global programs and strategy, and a Global Leadership Taskforce (2016-2018) — on which Bill Harrison served as a Steering Committee member — guided the development of a new global road map. This ambitious vision will require a robust operational infrastructure, including a full-time leadership team that is fully prepared to advance UNC’s global mission and oversee its growing global enterprise.
Provost Bob Blouin said, “It is critically important to have fully dedicated leadership for UNC Global. With a full-time vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer in place, UNC Global will be well positioned to advance the University’s global priorities. This gift will help UNC attract the very best candidates for this leadership role and demonstrate the university’s commitment to preeminence as a global university in service to North Carolina, the nation and the world.”
Bill Harrison is a 1966 Carolina graduate and retired chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Anne Harrison is a 1978 Carolina graduate who earned her bachelor of arts degree in English.
“Anne and I have been fortunate in life and we wanted to give back to an institution that has been so important to us,” said Bill Harrison. “Furthermore, having worked in a large, global organization for my entire career, I am a strong believer that a great university needs to have outstanding global capabilities and a mission to prepare its students to compete in the global world we all live in.”
The $10 million gift continues the Harrisons’ long record of supporting global initiatives at Carolina. In 2007, Bill Harrison chaired the Global Leadership Circle, which developed the University’s first comprehensive global road map. In 2009, Bill and Anne Harrison made a $1 million gift creating the University’s Global Research Institute to generate knowledge solving real-world problems, such as water quality and the impact of globalization on North Carolina’s economy.
In the 2018 Academic Rankings of World Universities, UNC-Chapel Hill is 30th among 500 top universities, up from 52nd in 2003. Global has become central to Carolina’s teaching, research and service mission.