A Holiday Message: Appreciating Carolina’s Greatness

Greetings Coalition of Carolina supporters,

We would like to thank you for joining our coalition to support and defend Carolina from partisan interference. As we rededicate ourselves to the University’s promise of Lux Libertas—light and liberty—and the principles of open inquiry, free speech, equity and inclusion, we want to take a moment to reflect on why we love The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This is the first of our regular newsletters and, starting today, you will be receiving regular updates from us shining a light on situations that are important to Carolina’s continued success. We want to hear from you too. Please give us feedback and share our work with your friends who care about Carolina. On our contact page, you can submit a post of up to 300 words and request that we republish it on our website or in our future newsletters. For this first newsletter, we wanted to celebrate the holidays by visiting some of the positive reasons why it is important to protect the university we love.

Many know UNC-Chapel Hill as the home of champions like Dean Smith, Anson Dorrance, Jenny Levy, and hundreds of world-class athletes who have graced our fields, tracks, and courts across men’s and women’s sports. We also know that Carolina is a standard of excellence in academics, research, and teaching, not just in our state and region, but nationally and internationally. Carolina is an environment brimming with intelligence, drive, and innovation. The holidays are a time of joy and gratitude, and as we celebrate the holidays, we also recognize everything about Carolina that inspires us to protect this incredible institution.

There’s a good reason Carolina is revered, ranked a top 5 public university and one of the top 50 universities in the world. But it’s so much more than that. Carolina doesn’t just offer high academic prestige at a relatively low cost with top-ranking business, media and journalism, and public health schools. It’s also a breakthrough research institution with a richly diverse community.

The 11th largest research university in the U.S. and the 6th in the U.S. for federal research funding, Carolina set a record last year in funding, receiving more than $1 billion in federal, nonprofit, and industrial research awards, grants, and contracts. These awards sponsor research that spans health, environmental, and social sciences. From cures and treatments of diseases such as cancer and COVID-19 to clean water, criminal justice reform, and new technologies.

Research at UNC is groundbreaking and forward-thinking, always focused on furthering the good of humanity. Carolina’s community of students and staff bolster one another at every turn. Professors bring to the classroom extraordinary expertise, innovation, and genuine investment into students’ success, strengthening their future careers by challenging them in a diverse array of settings.

Teaching at Carolina takes passion and commitment. The student-faculty ratio is 15:1, and about 46% of classes have fewer than 20 students. Classes prioritize innovating experiential learning opportunities with new technologies, interactive engagement of students, and creative assessment methods. Faculty and alumni include 9 Nobel Prize laureates, 23 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 51 Rhodes Scholars.

We build leaders at Carolina, from dozens of Congressional representatives, senators, and governors to hundreds of CEOs, nonprofit executives, and clergy. Our stars also shine brightly in a variety of arts and entertainment fields, a constellation of actors, novelists, playwrights, and artists.

The supportive nature of UNC-Chapel Hill’s community doesn’t end when students graduate. Carolina’s alumni network offers extensive networking opportunities. School spirit means Tar Heels are often ready to help one another out, providing career advice and important professional connections. And with 349,000 alumni and counting, the possibilities are endless.

There’s no shortage of school spirit at Carolina. It’s this spirit that drives us to ensure community members’ loyalty continues to be earned at every level, without compromising integral Carolina values like empathy, freedom of speech, and equity. As members of the Carolina community, we know we deserve a school that makes us proud — and we’re here to ensure it does.

It’s helpful to remember what we’re fighting for here. UNC is no ordinary university, and it never has been. Our mission is to make sure Carolina never falls from the heights climbed by thousands of faculty, students, staff, administrators, and alumni since 1789.

From all of us at the Coalition for Carolina, here’s to a joyous holiday season and a happy Tar Heel Blue 2022.

Photo credit: Jill Lang, iStock

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