Unexpected Blessings

By the Rev. Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr., Rector

Dear Ones,

Last month we were honored to welcome John Barry, author of The Great Influenza (2004), to participate with us in our webinar The History of Pandemics.

Dr. Barry typically requests an honorarium for an amount that we were unable to provide. However, he generously agreed to participate with us for whatever amount we were able to offer. However, he asked that we send it as a donation to the Daniel Edward Hudgins and John M Barry Chapel Hill Scholarship Expendable Fund.

Today, completely unexpectedly, we received this wonderful letter of thanks from the student who directly benefitted from this donation.

Dear Rev. Danaher:

It’s hard to believe that almost three years ago I made the most important decision of my life. After months of visiting and applying to different colleges and universities, I decided on Carolina. I am the first person my family to attend a 4-year university, and the scholarship I received from UNC helped put that milestone within reach.

I was born and raised in a small town in rural North Carolina. My community taught me the value or hard work and the importance of upholding a high standard of integrity in all that I do. I knew that coming to Carolina would be a big change, but I trusted that holding both of these values close would carry me through. I’ve tried to stay true to myself while exploring many of the opportunities that our university has to offer.

Last year, I was accepted to Kenan-Flagler Business School as an undergraduate business administration major, and I’ve had the chance to study the theories and practices that shape our business environment. I’ve been able to put that knowledge to work during hands-on learning engagements like my study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and the group projects I tackled in each of my classes.

Outside of the classroom, I have found a community with the Newman Catholic Student Center Parish Newman has made the big world of Carolina feel more like the close-knit community of my hometown, for which am extremely grateful. I also serve on the Student Alumni Association’s Board of Directors with the General Alumni Association, the first step in making my Tar Heel identity into a lifetime commitment. Carolina has truly become my home.

Donors like you help so many students find a home at Carolina. Your gift to the Daniel Edward Hudgins and John M Barry Chapel Hill Scholarship Expendable Fund helps students grow and learn, opening opportunities to explore and give back on this campus and the wider world. I cannot fully express my gratitude for the generosity that has made this place so special for me. Thank you!

With sincere appreciation,  

Justin Smith ’21

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