News & Messages

Message from Chancellor Carol L. Folt on Chancellor Aycock

Dear Carolina Community:

It is with heavy heart that I am writing to let you know of the passing of William B. Aycock ‘48, Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1957 until 1964 and a truly beloved leader and faculty member over a 40-year association with Carolina. Chancellor Aycock, who was the University’s second chancellor and would have turned 100 this October, was the retired Kenan Professor of Law at UNC School of Law. We have posted the Carolina Alumni Review story on the remarkable life of Chancellor Aycock at

Chancellor Aycock was an inspiring Tar Heel who took the reins of our University during a time of tremendous growth and challenges. His last public visit to Carolina was just several weeks ago when he attended a ceremony at our law school naming Martin Brinkley our new dean. I was glad to have one final opportunity to greet Chancellor Aycock and thank him for being such an indelible part of our University’s long history.

Chancellor Aycock dearly loved Carolina and served it in many capacities. In 1948, he graduated first in his class from UNC Law School where he was also editor-in-chief of the North Carolina Law Review and joined the faculty the same year. He would retire from the Law School in 1985. He also holds a master’s degree in history from Carolina. A North Carolina native, Aycock earned his bachelor’s degree in education from North Carolina State University where he was also a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He was a decorated Army officer during World War II.

During his 40-year association with the University, Chancellor Aycock earned many recognitions and honors: first recipient of the UNC School of Law’s McCall Teaching Award, a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa, recipient of the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Alumnus Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from the UNC Law Alumni Association, the William R. Davie Award from the UNC Board of Trustees, the University Award from the UNC Board of Governors, and the Liberty Bell Award from the North Carolina Bar Association. In 1998, the School of Medicine created the William B. Aycock Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine position.

In celebrating Chancellor Aycock’s life and legacy, we send our condolences to his family and join in grateful appreciation for his service to our University and our state.

Carol L. Folt