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1978 KDP Laureate William “Bill” Clyde Friday died October 12, 2012.

Bill Friday was an educator who served as the head of the University of North Carolina system from 1956 to 1986. Born in 1920 in Raphine, Virginia, and raised in Dallas, North Carolina, Friday held a bachelor's degree in textile manufacturing from North Carolina State University, where he served as senior class president. He graduated in 1941 and joined the United States Navy. Upon completing his service, Friday went on to receive a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1948. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

Friday devoted his entire professional life to higher education. He was assistant dean of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1948 to 1951, assistant to the President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina Gordon Gray from 1951 to 1955, then Secretary of the University of North Carolina system, and Acting President from 1956 to 1957, when he was chosen to take the position permanently.

In addition to being influential in the development of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Friday, who retired as President in 1986, faced the challenge of desegregating the state’s public colleges and universities into a single system. Friday was also a founding co-chairman of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

Upon retirement, Friday remained influential in North Carolina’s educational landscape and hosted a public television talk show, North Carolina People, which he had begun during his presidency of the University system.

Several educational institutions, or buildings within larger institutions, are named in Friday's honor, including William C. Friday Middle School in Dallas, NC, and The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation on the campus of North Carolina State University at Raleigh. The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He died at the age 92 and is survived by his wife of 70 years, Ida, and his daughters Frances and Mary.

LL.D., Belmont Abbey College, Wake Forest University, Duke University, Princeton University, etc.
President, University of North Carolina.
Co-author of Tar Heel Tradition: 100 Years of Sports at Carolina (1988).

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