Honoring the Legacy of William Friday this University Day

William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education, second edition, by William LinkFew North Carolinians have been as well known or as widely respected as William Friday (1920-2012). The former president of the University of North Carolina remained prominent in public affairs in the state and elsewhere throughout his life and ranked as one of the most important American university presidents of the post-World War II era. He led the growth of the UNC system and left a legacy beyond compare.

Now, and available for the first time in paperback, William A. Link’s second edition of the acclaimed biography William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education is updated to trace William Friday’s remarkable career and commemorate his legendary life.

The paperback edition has a new introduction and epilogue that looks at Mr. Friday’s work since the first edition was published in 1995, including his instrumental part in the growth of Research Triangle Park and establishment of the National Humanities Center.

The new epilogue also examines Friday’s legacy during his later years, including his views on intercollegiate athletics and his role on the Knight Commission.

“This second edition seeks to contextualize the life of Bill Friday, his impact on North Carolina and the nation, by extending the story to his death and by examining the significance of his long career in public service,” says Link, Richard J. Milbauer Professor of History at the University of Florida.

According to Link, “The life and times of Bill Friday are also the life and times of modern North Carolina.”

Friday passed away last year on October 12—which also happens to be University Day at the University of North Carolina. It is fitting that we can continue to commemorate the two occasions together: the day for celebrating the past and future of the university is also the day to reflect on the legacy of a man who lived a life of service in higher education and the state of North Carolina.

After his death last year we collected a few remembrances from folks who knew Friday well. You might like to revisit those pieces from Kate Torrey, William Link, and Doug Orr.

The University of North Carolina will be installing a new chancellor, Carol Folt, this University Day. See the University website for details on the weekend’s festivities.