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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Three receive honorary degrees at 2018 commencement

Phillip Leroy Clay
Doctor of Laws

Clay, an eminent scholar of urban life, served as chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of
Wilmington, he graduated from Carolina with honors in 1968. He earned a doctorate in city planning at MIT in 1975 and joined the MIT faculty. He became head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 1992, associate provost in 1994 and chancellor in 2001, a role in which he oversaw academic programs, student life and research policy until 2011.

Clay is known for his work in housing policy and community development, particularly in the United States. In a path-breaking 1987 study, he identified factors contributing to a decline in low-income housing and made recommendations that were implemented nationally through the Housing Act of 1990. He chaired the board of directors of The Community Builders, the nation’s largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing, and is deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He was a founding director and vice chair of the MasterCard Foundation and serves on the boards of the Kresge Foundation and the Aga Khan University, among others.

Clay served on the University Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2014 and led the committee that supported Carolina’s focus on innovation.

James F. Goodmon
Doctor of Laws

Goodmon is CEO and chairman of the board of Capitol Broadcasting Company, a major television and radio broadcasting company in North Carolina. After attending Duke University, he served in the U.S. Navy. In 1968 he began working at WRAL-TV. He became president in 1975 and CEO in 1979.

Known for his belief in broadcasting’s role as a responsible leader in news and information, Goodmon never abandoned or hollowed out his company’s newsrooms, even in difficult financial times. His community spirit is exemplified by his leadership revitalizing the American Tobacco Historic District in Durham.

Goodmon received the 2000 North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state confers. He was named “Tar Heel of the Year” in 2003 by The News & Observer. He was inducted into the N.C. Media and Journalism Hall of Fame and the N.C. Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He has received honorary degrees from Peace University, Pfeiffer College and Duke University.

Goodmon is chairman of the board of directors of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation that supports Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism and many local institutions. He was the founding president of the UNC-TV Foundation and played a key role in establishing WUNC-FM radio’s broadcast facilities in Durham.

Judith A. Jamison
Doctor of Performing Arts

Jamison is a world-renowned American dancer and choreographer. In 1965, at the age of 22, she joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—a modern dance company of international stature. Iconic performances in Alvin Ailey’s masterpieces Blues Suite, Revelations and, most notably, the tour-de-force solo Cry, brought her worldwide stardom. She was a guest artist with numerous companies, starred in the Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies and formed her own company, The Jamison Project.

In 1989, she became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and for 21 years led the company, helped establish a permanent home for it and guided Ailey’s global 50th anniversary celebration. She choreographed many celebrated works, including Divining, Forgotten Time, Double Exposure, HERE … NOW and Sweet Release. Her autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was published in 1993.

Jamison received a prime-time Emmy and the American Choreography Award for the PBS special, A Hymn for Alvin Ailey, based upon her work Hymn. She was awarded the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award and the Handel Medallion. Featured in The TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People, she was also honored at the White House and inducted into the National Museum of Dance’s Hall of Fame.