|The bonds will finance
additions and improvements to our public higher education system,
which will see an increase of 100,000 students in the next decade.
Furthermore, the UNC campuses and the community colleges must replace
or upgrade older facilities, particularly science and technology
buildings, to deliver the 21st-century education that our students
need to be competitive in the workplace.
The bond proceeds will bring $499
million for more than 50 new construction or renovation projects at
Carolina. The list of projects is available on the University website
I thank each of you who voted for the
bonds, lobbied your friends or played a role in the campaign to
educate voters. I am proud of the University’s friends who left
nothing to chance and worked right up to the last minute to take our
case to the public. I’m proud of the Carolina senior, Jessica Triche,
who worked very hard in the three-year effort to get legislative
approval for satellite voting locations statewide – an effort that
led to our own satellite polling place in the Morehead building. (This
satellite location, one of three in Orange County, enabled thousands
of students, staff and faculty members to vote more conveniently on a
date of their own choosing and on the campus where they spend the
majority of their workday.)
I’m also proud that North Carolinians
statewide went to the polls and voted. Here in Orange County, voters
lined up in the dark early and late on Nov. 7, and many going to or
from work had their children with them. You had to be inspired by the
sight of so many people taking seriously their responsibility to
participate in civic life.
I promise you that in Chapel Hill our
actions will justify the public faith. We will use the state money
carefully and account for how we spend it. And we will set a goal for
ourselves of tripling the public money with private gifts and grants.
Carolina is and always has been a public-private partnership. In the
year the University was chartered, 1789, it also received its first
private gift, from Benjamin Smith, a Revolutionary War veteran. This
alignment of public and private willingness to fund higher education
is one of North Carolina’s greatest strengths.
I believe we will look back on the year
2000 and passage of the bond referendum as a pivotal moment in
Carolina’s history. With a strong infusion of public and private
funds to modernize our facilities and to support excellent teaching,
research and public service, Carolina is poised to become the best
public university in the nation. Thank you again for your own
contributions to this endeavor.
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