More Kudos for Keohane

March 31, 2004

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recognized retiring Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane by naming a new visiting professorship in her honor, and she was honored with one of the first-ever Marshall Medals at a ceremony in London.

The idea for the professorship came from UNC Chancellor James Moeser, who has worked closely with Keohane to create better collaboration between the two campuses. Moeser surprised Keohane by announcing plans for the professorship at a dinner on the Chapel Hill campus celebrating her leadership and ties with UNC. About 200 Carolina and Duke supporters attended. Half of the $3 million needed to create the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University was pledged as a challenge by Carolina graduate Julian Robertson and his wife, Josie, of New York, parents of Spencer Robertson '98.

Following Moeser's announcement, Richard M. Krasno, executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, confirmed that the trustees of the Kenan Trust had unanimously approved a grant to provide the remaining $1.5 million to make the professorship possible.

The Robertsons also funded the Robertson Scholars program, one of a number of important Duke-Carolina collaborative programs established during Keohane's administration. The William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust has been among Carolina's most generous benefactors and has also supported the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke.

The UNC-Duke collaborations have grown from academic partnerships spanning more than a half century, beginning in the 1930s with coordinated book-buying for the two libraries in order to maximize the holdings of both and minimize duplication. Those early successes have accelerated dramatically in recent years, creating one of the most vibrant and dynamic academic relationships in the world, Moeser said. Keohane "has been a wonderful colleague in every regard--a tower of strength and wisdom, with bedrock integrity, principled and decisive."

Moeser said the distinguished visiting professorship would bring world-class visiting scholars to both universities to interact with students. The visiting professor will spend about six months of a yearlong appointment on each campus. The provosts at Carolina and Duke will work together to select the visiting scholar every year.

During her tenure at Duke, Keohane strengthened existing collaborations with UNC-Chapel Hill and oversaw new ones, including the Robertson Scholars program, in which scholarship recipients study at both universities; the Rotary Center for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution; and the newly announced Institute for Renaissance Computing, which will be based at UNC with support from Duke and North Carolina State University. The institute, to be headed by Daniel Reed, one of the world's leaders in high-performance computing, will explore the interactions of computing technology with sciences, arts, and humanities.

Keohane was one of seven people who received Marshall Medals at a ceremony at Senate House celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Marshall Scholarships, the prestigious academic awards that provide opportunities for talented young Americans to live and study in the United Kingdom. The other recipients were Secretary of State Colin Powell, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, engineer and inventor Ray Dolby, and president of the Atlantic Council of the United States Christopher Makins.

The medals were awarded to "individuals whose outstanding achievement and creative energy in public life, in international relations, and in fostering Anglo-American understanding embody the ideals of George Marshall, the founding father of the Marshall Plan." The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Association of Marshall Scholars.

Following her graduation from Wellesley College in 1961, Keohane was awarded a Marshall Scholarship to Oxford University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees with "first class honours" in philosophy, politics, and economics.

The Marshall Scholarships were inaugurated by the British government as a thank-you to the United States for the Marshall Plan, which catalyzed the European recovery in the aftermath of World War II. Since then, 1,400 young American men and women have studied at forty-four different universities in the United Kingdom.