January 30, 2008 edition

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In a recent State of the University speech, Chancellor James Moeser described private funds as the fuel that propels a university to greatness.

With the close of the Carolina First Campaign, which raised a record $2.38 billion over the past eight years, the University has surpassed expectations in that quest.

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For the past five years, University researchers have examined how living in smaller cities, towns and rural areas influences the development of young children.

Now, with a $12.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at the FPG Child Development Institute and the School of Education will look at how well these children make the transition to school.

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The master plan for Carolina North, along with a concept plan for an Innovation Center that would serve as its gateway project, shared center stage at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting on Jan. 23.

Jack Evans, executive director of Carolina North, said the twin presentations of the master plan and a concept plan for the Innovation Center were important steps for the town’s approval. Both marked a culmination of months of planning on a host of fronts.

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York will support a collaborative effort on civil rights between the University and UNC Press.

The three-year, $937,000 grant will support “ Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement,” a project that, through print and digital publications, will underscore one of Carolina’s longstanding academic priorities: interdisciplinary civil rights scholarship.

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Fred Eshelman may not have intended to propel the Carolina First Campaign into the history books, but his $9 million pledge to the School of Pharmacy did just that. The University now has completed the fifth-largest campaign in higher education and the largest at a southern university.

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TECHNOLOGY

Visualization technology

RENCI
Mike Conway, foreground, and William Schulz view a 360-degree view of the Old Well area in the Social Computing Room at the new Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) engagement center at ITS Manning. RENCI will host an open house on Feb. 7 from 3 to 6 p.m. so the University community can tour the engagement center and its three research environments that use cutting-edge visualization and collaboration technologies. In addition to the Social Computing Room that uses 12 projectors to create a 360-degree display for virtual, immersive and interactive experiences, people can also see the Showcase Room, with its tilted multi-projector dome display that allows with data in a 180-degree field of view, and the Tele-immersion Room, with its large rear-projection screen for 3-D stereoscopic viewing and long-distance collaboration at more than four times high-density resolution. “The open house is a way to show the UNC community what we have here and to get them thinking about possible partnerships with RENCI,” said Ruth Marinshaw, engagement center director. RENCI was founded in 2004 as a collaboration of Carolina, Duke and N.C. State universities and the state of North Carolina. For information, refer to www.renci.org.
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