April 26, 2006 | Leave a Comment
One of North Carolina's most beloved citizens, William C. Friday, will be Campbell's Commencement speaker at spring graduation exercises, Monday, May 15, at 9 a.m. on the Academic Mall. As fundamental to North Carolinians as barbecue and fried chicken, Friday grew up in Dallas, N.C. and graduated from North Carolina State College in 1941. He earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina after serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. Friday began his career in college administration as assistant to the Dean of Students at UNC-Chapel Hill, before becoming president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina and subsequently the University of North Carolina system. Friday is also founding co-chairman of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. His term as president spanned 30 years, but he is perhaps best-known as a founder of North Carolina Public Television and his fabled television show, "North Carolina People." "North Carolina People" has featured many of the brightest and most talented people in the state and the nation, including evangelist Billy Graham and gospel singer Shirley Ceasar. "What makes North Carolina special is its people," Friday once said. "We've never had a wealthy state, but we have an atmosphere of open and free discussion, natural endowments and, most of all, the spirit of our people." Friday is married to Ida Howell. They have three daughters: Frances, Mary and Betsy. Approximately 800 degrees are expected to be conferred at Monday's graduation exercises.
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