General Alumni Association Honors Michael Kennedy with 2017 Distinguished Service Medal
May 18, 2017 | Clay M
The UNC General Alumni Association (GAA) honored Institute for the Arts and Humanities Board Member Michael Kennedy (’79), among others with the 2017 Distinguished Service Medal. The prize recognizes his work in drawing on business experience to support the University and the association.
“I am humbled and thrilled to receive this honor,” said Kennedy is senior client partner with Korn Ferry International, an executive search and development firm based in Atlanta.
Kennedy is a member of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board and had a previous career in investment and banking. He has consulted with the University on high-profile hiring. He also held leadership roles in some of the University’s major fundraising efforts, including the Bicentennial and the Carolina First campaigns, and will play a key role in the campaign launching this fall.
While expanding minority giving to the University as a member of the National Steering Committee of the Carolina First Campaign, Kennedy established and chaired the Minority Alumni Committee that increased diversity on University advisory boards. The Carolina American Indian Center came out of the committee, and Kennedy has since organized the Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, which he co-chairs. He received the Harvey Beech Outstanding Alumni Award, given in 2009 by the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion, and the William Richardson Davie Award in 2014 from UNC’s Board of Trustees.
“Diversity is important. It is essential for all voices to be heard,” says Kennedy. “The university can continue to enhance outreach to diverse constituents. To be successful in the current campaign, we have to make sure we are reaching out to all constituents about what is going on at Carolina and how they can give back.”
As an IAH Advisory Board Member, Kennedy says supporting the mission of the Institute is key because “it is important for faculty to get the resources they need to continue to be successful. In order for UNC to remain one of the best public universities, we have to ensure we have top-notch faculty for our brilliant students.”
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