RALEIGH NC State University’s Park Scholarships Class of 2017 presented the 18th annual William C. Friday Award to Thomas Ross on Friday. Ross is the president emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina.The William C. Friday Award, named for the former UNC president, is selected each year by the senior class of the Park Scholars at NCSU each year. Until his death in 2012, Friday helped in the selection process. In his acceptance speech Ross remembered Friday.”He was not only a mentor to me, an adviser in many ways, but a friend,” said Ross. Ross left the helm of the UNC system in January 2016 after an internal breakdown with the system’s Board of Governors. Current UNC System President Margaret Spellings replaced Ross. He left to serve as a Sanford Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy at the Duke University Sanford School for Public Policy, but remains a tenured professor at UNC Chapel Hill.Prior to becoming UNC President, Ross served as president of Davidson College, executive director of the left-leaning Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and a Superior Court judge. Ross was appointed president of the Volcker Alliance in May 2016.Past recipients of the William C. Friday Award include NC State Chancellor Emeritus Larry Monteith, Gen. Hugh Shelton, noted historian John Hope Franklin, Special Olympics of North Carolina CEO and President Keith Fishburne, Ambassador James A. Joseph, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, and CORRAL Riding Academy Founder and President Joy Currey.
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