News

Spangler Center Renaming Announcement

March 7, 2008

For more information contact Joni Worthington at (919) 962-4629 or worthj@northcarolina.edu.

March 7, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNC Board of Governors Honors President Emeritus and Mrs. C.D. Spangler, Jr., by Renaming UNC General Administration Building for Them

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The adjoining Chapel Hill buildings housing the administrative offices of the multi-campus University of North Carolina have been renamed the Spangler Center to honor the leadership and contributions of President Emeritus C.D. Spangler, Jr., who led the University from 1986-1997, and his wife, Meredith. In addition, the main building formerly known as the General Administration Building has been renamed the C.D. Spangler, Jr., Building, while the connecting facility has been renamed the Meredith Riggs Spangler Building.

The UNC General Administration Building opened in May 1971 as the headquarters for what was then the six-campus University of North Carolina. When the state legislature expanded the University the following year to include all 16 public universities in North Carolina, the building’s basement was renovated to accommodate the larger administrative staff, as well as the work of the newly created UNC Board of Governors. The adjoining building was constructed in 1981 to meet the needs of the growing University.

The UNC Board of Governors helped unveil the new signage today during a ceremony held in conjunction with the Board’s regular March meeting.  Along with members of the Spangler family, ceremony participants included Board of Governors Chairman Jim Phillips, UNC President Emeritus William Friday, UNC President Erskine Bowles, and retired UNC Vice President Roy Carroll, who served under Spangler.

“Words can’t adequately convey what the Spangler family has meant to this University,” said President Bowles. “Dick and Meredith, working as a team, have given this University their all—their time, their talents, and their treasures. They have invested heavily in this great institution—both personally and professionally—and by any measure, that investment has paid huge dividends for the people of North Carolina.

Before he succeeded Friday as UNC President in 1986, C. D. Spangler, Jr., was a successful businessman for whom public service in education had been a longtime avocation. A Charlotte native and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Harvard Business School, he had served as vice-chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, chaired the NC State Board of Education, and co-chaired the Governor’s Commission on Education for Economic Growth. 

Throughout his 11-year tenure as UNC President, Spangler fought to keep tuition low and was equally vocal about the University’s role as a powerful engine for the state’s economy. Under his leadership, University-wide minimum admissions requirements were implemented, a series of reforms were instituted to help ensure the integrity of all intercollegiate athletic programs, an exhaustive review of the basic academic missions of the 16 campuses was completed, and external funding for research and other sponsored programs more than tripled. Also during his tenure, the University’s annual state operating budget nearly doubled, and UNC campuses received more than $1 billion from the legislature for capital construction and renovation.

Spangler and the Spangler family foundation have given generously to the University over the years. Among their public gifts (there have been many others made quietly), they have funded and helped to complete distinguished professorships on every UNC campus. Most recently, in May 2007, Spangler announced two new challenge-grant programs that together will make $26.9 million available to support the creation of up to 96 distinguished professorships across the 16 university campuses. 

About the University of North Carolina

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 209,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.