10/12/12 — Former UNC President Bill Friday dead at age 92

View Archive

Former UNC President Bill Friday dead at age 92

By From staff reports
Published in News on October 12, 2012 1:46 PM

William "Bill" Friday, who has been called the personification of higher education in the state, died today in his sleep. He served for 30 years as president of the University of North Carolina system.

Following his retirement in 1986, Friday served as president of the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund and then as director of its parent philanthropy, the W.R. Kenan Jr. Charities. He also hosted a show on UNC-TV, "North Carolina People," and was the founding co-chairman of the Knight Commission, a privately funded group formed in 1989 to promote reforms and greater presidential control of college athletics.

He married his wife, Ida, in 1942, and they were wed for 60 years until his death. She has promoted the arts through her work with numerous state organizations, the university said. UNC's continuing education campus is named for both of them -- the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.