November 19, 2009
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees has honored Fred Eshelman and three other recipients with the William Richardson Davie Award, the board’s highest honor.
Chancellor Holden Thorp and the trustees honored Fred Eshelman, founder of PPD Inc., of Wilmington; Richard Krasno, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, of Chapel Hill; Gov. Beverly Perdue of Raleigh; and Richard “Stick” Williams, senior vice president of environmental health and safety at Duke Energy Corp., of Charlotte during a dinner Wednesday, November 18, at the Carolina Inn.
Established by the Board of Trustees in 1984, the Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who is considered the father of the University. It recognizes extraordinary service to the University or society.
With his vision and generosity, Eshelman dramatically enhanced the University’s pharmacy school, now named the Eshelman School of Pharmacy in his honor. The 1972 graduate of the school has supported Carolina with his commitment of time, service, and gifts totaling more than $33 million.
Eshelman has been a member of the pharmacy school’s Board of Visitors for more than a decade and has lectured as an adjunct faculty member. With each of his gifts, he has strategically improved the school. He created five $1 million distinguished professorships that helped to recruit world-renowned faculty. He established six scholarships for doctor of pharmacy students in addition to fellowships that last year were awarded to eight graduate students. He provided seed money to begin construction of the school’s 70,000 square feet of laboratory space in the new Genetic Medicine Building. He established a Fund for Excellence to support innovation at the school.
Because of Eshelman’s support, the school has added expert faculty in many disciplines, enrolled promising students from around the country and world and increased faculty research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
This is the second consecutive year that a School alum has received the Davie Award. Vaughn and Nancy Bryson, both 1960 graduates of the School, received the honor in 2008.